Snowmobilers cited for going into wilderness area
February 11, 2009
The U.S. Forest Service would like to remind readers that snowmobiles, like all motorized equipment, are illegal in wilderness areas.
The 1964 Wilderness Act set aside wildernesses as places to enjoy primitive adventure and solitude, as refuges from the sights and sounds of the mechanized world.
“Every winter, snowmobilers trespass into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, violating the intent of the Wilderness Act” said Steve McCone, Wilderness Manager for the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. There have also been incidents in the Sarvis Creek and Flat Top Wildernesses.
“There are boundary signs in many areas, and maps at winter trailheads, showing areas closed to snowmobiles. “We make the effort to inform riders but ultimately, it is their responsibility to know where they are and to avoid taking their machines into the wilderness,” McCone said.
Some snowmobilers recently didn’t heed those warnings at the Big Meadow by Summit Campground and were issued citations. The Forest Service will continue enforcement efforts.
Violations are punishable by fines of up to $10,000, one year in jail and the forfeiture of snowmobiles and other items involved.
For information or maps about winter recreation opportunities, please contact the Forest Service offices in Steamboat Springs at (970) 870-2299, Yampa at (970) 638-4516, Walden at (970) 723-8204 or Kremmling at (970) 724-3060.