Seasonal road closures for Pole Mountain

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LARAMIE, Wyo - Seasonal road closures on Pole Mountain will go into effect Feb. 1, 2018 to protect resources in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

Restricted roads consist of all roads on Pole Mountain except Interstate 80, Wyoming Highway 210, Forest Road 700 west of Vedauwoo Campground, Tie City and Happy Jack parking areas, and Forest Roads 719 and 719.A. Signage and swinging gates will be used to ensure easy identification of closed areas.

Over the last four years, a temporary, seasonal closure was issued due to misuse and illegal off-roading which resulted in long-term damage to roadbeds and natural resources.

The decision to seasonally close roads on Pole Mountain during snowmelt and/or wet conditions is a result of the Pole Mountain Travel Management project decision, signed in July, 2017.

“In response to the feedback I received from the public during the Pole Mountain Travel Management process, a set date for annual road closures has been established,” said Frank Romero, Laramie District Ranger. “I firmly believe that this portion of the travel management decision will help provide a road system on Pole Mountain that is sustainable in the long term and will meet the needs of Forest users, for both current and future generations.

“Pole Mountain is still available for use after the closures take effect, however, the use is limited to non-motorized. We learned through our temporary seasonal closures that this is an effective way to protect natural resources during a critical time of the year.”

Non-motorized access for a wide variety of activities and uses is permitted during the closure period.

The end date of the annual closure is flexible, as it is dependent on weather and road conditions. District staff will monitor and evaluate conditions on Pole Mountain during late spring to facilitate the re-opening of all roads as soon as practical.

It is important to remember that even when roads begin to dry and reopen; motorized users must remain on designated routes and are not permitted to travel off-road. Please help protect public lands to provide enjoyment for the entire public. It is the user’s responsibility to know where and what types of restrictions are in place when accessing public lands.

Located north of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, the Pole Mountain unit encompasses approximately 55,000 acres on the Medicine Bow National Forest. The area experiences heavy year-round usage from the Laramie, Cheyenne and Fort Collins areas.

Those traveling through the National Forest should pay attention to signage and refer to the Pole Mountain Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for details. MVUMs are free and physical copies can be obtained at the Laramie District Office, 2468 Jackson St. in Laramie. Electronic versions of the free map are available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mbr/mvum/maps.