For Immediate Release
Snowmass Village, Colo. – November 20, 2017 – Sky Mountain Park, North Rim, and Seven Star Trails will close for the winter season on Friday, December 1st. Afterwards, the trails will be off-limits to the public, including bikers, hikers, dogs, and equestrian users.
This seasonal closure commences on December 1st each year to protect the sensitive winter ranges that local elk populations and other wildlife rely on to navigate winter conditions. Sky Mountain and the North Mesa are critical habitats for elk, and minimizing disturbances and stress allows the elk to survive on declining winter diets.
“These trails cut through historical winter ranges, and once the trails are closed, we see the elk start to move in and stay for winter,” said Tina White, TOSV Animal Services Officer. “Wildlife cameras show elk and other wildlife using the trails to access feeding areas during the winter months.”
The closures are managed and enforced in a collaborative effort by the Town of Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and they are strictly enforced. Violating a trail closure can result in hefty fines.
The Town’s Animal Services department rarely has to issue fines or track down scofflaws, but it does happen occasionally. “It’s something we take seriously, and there is a zero tolerance policy,” said White. “But most people get it. Our community respects the closures and let wildlife have the trails for the season.”
These trails will re-open again in the spring on May 16th. For the latest trail conditions and closures, visit www.snowmassrecreation.com.
Assistant to the Town Manager
Town of Snowmass Village