Contact: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399

GUNNISON, Colo. – Today, portions of the Bureau of Land Management’s Hartman Rocks Recreation Area re-opened for public access due to dry spring conditions.

The roads and trails north of the power line are open for mechanized and motorized travel. All of the roads and trails south of the power line remain closed for Gunnison Sage-grouse conservation until May 15, 2013. Additionally, The Enchanted Forest trail is still snow covered and will remain closed until further notice.

“Thank you to our users for honoring spring closures,” said Kristi Murphy, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner. “There are still a few snow covered and wet spots along trails and roads, and people recreating on those routes should stay on the trail tread in order to prevent resource damage.”

Trail users who travel off-route can quickly damage drought-stressed vegetation and can create unsightly social trails that can lead to further erosion.

Additionally, the Gunnison Sage-grouse are in a critical life stage for breeding. The BLM asks for the public’s support during the birds’ reproduction cycle by restricting contact, noise and other disturbances to maintain or improve the populations in the Gunnison Basin.

“We encourage the public to get outside and enjoy Hartman Rocks,” said Derek Chodorowski, newly hired BLM Law Enforcement Officer. “Remember to be safe, stay on designated routes and stay north of the Power Line Road until May 15.”

For more information or maps of the area, contact the Gunnison Field Office at 970-642-4940.

Photo by Matt Burt