Snowmobile use north of Highway 200 in most of the Lincoln Ranger District of the Helena National Forest ended Monday.
The March 31 closure is dictated in the Winter Blackfoot Travel Plan. This is the first year the district has implemented the new rules, which aim to help grizzly bear recovery in the area. The closure applies only to national forest lands, with the exception of an area known as Copper Bowls, which remains open until May 31. National forest lands within the district make up a portion of the Northern Continental Divide grizzly bear recovery zone.
National forest lands south of Highway 200 falls outside the zone and remain open until April 15. Despite the closures, high snowpack remains in much of the ranger district.
“This is the first year of implementing the new Blackfoot Winter Travel Plan decision,” Lincoln District Ranger Amber Kamps said. “This also happens to be a spring where we have snow conditions that are atypical which makes this snowmobiling end-date a challenge; but we encourage snowmobilers to continue to enjoy recreational opportunities in the Copper Bowls area or on other lands that are open for snowmobiling use.”
Additional information can be obtained from the Lincoln Ranger District at (406) 362-7000.