In response to seasonal changes, and to protect winter range, some roads and areas on the Targhee National Forest began to close between last Friday and December 15th. Lower elevations tend to be used heavily by wintering wildlife and protecting this habitat is essential to the survival of wildlife. Wildlife Program Manager Nate Yorgason points out that when people enter closed winter range, animals are forced to move to new locations, and that requires animals, such as deer, elk and moose, to use energy they cannot spare, leading to a weakened condition, which in turn can have a direct effect on the animals’ ability to fend off disease or predators. Snowmobiling is not allowed in designated wildlife winter ranges or Wilderness Areas. Snowmobilers need to be careful to not damage vegetation by riding only where there is adequate snow cover. Hikers and other motorized users should be aware that some trails and areas are closing, even though they may still be passable due to the lack of snow. As a gentle reminder, dogs must be on a leash at all trailheads and they are not allowed on the Southern Valley trail system from December 1st through April 1st. Maps are available at any of the Forest Service offices of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.