Thursday, February 28, 2013

Arapaho National Forest Officials Warn Snowmobilers About Boundaries

Sulphur Ranger District officials would like to remind snowmobilers that their machines, like all motorized equipment, are prohibited in wilderness areas. On the Arapaho National Forest, wilderness areas include Byers Peak, Vasquez Peak, Indian Peaks and Never Summer.

To protect its research, the Fraser Experimental Forest also does not allow snowmobile use.

“This winter we have had occurrences of snowmobiles entering both wilderness areas and the Fraser Experimental Forest,” said Brad Orr, recreation staff for the Sulphur Ranger District. “We make an effort to inform riders but, ultimately, it is their responsibility to know where they are and to avoid taking their machines into designated wilderness areas and the Fraser Experimental Forest.”

Some snowmobilers either have chosen to ignore the boundary signs or aren’t aware of where they are riding and are unintentionally entering wilderness areas and the Fraser Experimental Forest. Violations for possessing or operating a snowmobile in a prohibited area are punishable by fines of up to $5,000, six months in jail and the forfeiture of snowmobiles and other items involved.

“Fortunately, there are many excellent areas for snowmobiling on the Sulphur Ranger District,” Orr added. These include the Grand Lake Trail System which can be accessed from County Road 4, the Church Park area that can be accessed off County Road 50 by parking at the Crooked Creek parking area and many trails accessed by parking at the Elk Creek Parking Area located off County Road 73 near the Town of Fraser.

Snowmobiling is a very popular activity on the National Forest that attracts visitors from across the country and provides economic support to many local communities. Sulphur Ranger District provides more than 200 miles of designated snowmobile routes and thousands of acres of off-trail areas for snowmobilers to enjoy.

Snowmobile use maps are available at the Forest Service office in Granby and online.


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