Idaho Falls, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) implemented the temporary annual closure of the Egin-Hamer area on Jan. 1, 2020.
The annual seasonal closure, which has been in place for more than 20 years, designates nearly 500 square miles of land off-limits to human entry for the protection of wintering deer, elk and moose herds. The break in human activity will allow herds of deer, elk and moose to spend more time in the desert between St. Anthony and Dubois during crucial portions of the late winter and early spring.
Every year the temporary closure begins on Jan. 1 and lasts through the end of March on lands south of the Egin-Hamer Road and until April 30, on lands north of it. Signs marking the area north of the Egin-Hamer road are fluorescent orange, while signs for the earlier opening southern portion are lime green.
The arrangement for the seasonal closure was agreed upon when county commissioners approached the BLM with the request to reopen the Egin-Hamer Road for winter travel in exchange for an area closure. State agencies such as the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Idaho Department of Lands also have land involved in the temporary closure and play an active role in the management. Individual landowners accessing their private lands are exempt from the temporary closure. The St. Anthony Sand Dunes, from the Red Road (N. 1900 E.) to Thunder Mountain and adjacent to Egin Lakes access, are also exempt from the temporary closure.
Occasionally, powered parachutes, helicopters and small planes have been sighted flying low over the closure area. While the air space over the seasonal closure is not restricted, pilots of all types are cautioned to not disturb wintering wildlife. If the machines are flying low enough to cause the wildlife to move away, then they are flying too low.
This year, special emphasis is being placed on keeping vehicles from accessing secondary roads off Red Road, which is within the closure area. Vehicles found beyond barriers will receive citations. Students from BYU-Idaho are also being reminded that the Civil Defense lava caves are also included within the temporary closure area boundaries.
A map of the temporary closure area can be found at http://www.blm.gov/Idaho/Egin-Hamer-Winter-Closure-Map. Or see the attached PDF.
For additional information, including free maps of the closure, contact either the IDFG Office in Idaho Falls at (208) 525-7290 or the BLM Office at (208) 524-7500.