Valley’s state wildlife areas close for season
COLORADO Parks and Wildlife enacts seasonal closures across various State Wildlife Areas (SWAs) during specific times of the year that are critical for wildlife. To protect water birds during the nesting season, CPW implements such closures at several SWAs across the San Luis Valley.
Higel, Playa Blanca, Rio Grande, Russell Lakes and Sego Springs SWAs are closed to all public access Feb. 15 through July 15. Additionally, the wetlands portion of San Luis Lakes SWA is closed to the public on the same dates.
“These properties serve as important areas for many species, including the federally endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, different species of waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, herons, etc.,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Tyler Cerny.
CPW staff conducts regular work in these areas to manage weeds, water movement and various other projects, so it is possible that the public will see staff on site during these times of closure.
The closures add to two other closures at SWAs currently in place in the San Luis Valley:
- Hot Creek SWA is closed to motor vehicles from Jan. 1 through April 30.
- La Jara SWA property is closed to motor vehicles Jan. 1 until the last Thursday before Memorial Day. This year, that is May 26.
The purpose of those closures is to protect big-game animal winter range during the months elk and deer are most vulnerable.
For more information on seasonal closures, call the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.