Seasonal road closures on Pole Mountain are scheduled to take effect this Thursday, Feb. 1 in order to preserve road conditions and protect resources in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

All roads will close on Pole Mountain except Interstate 80, Wyoming Highway 210, Forest Roads 700, 719 and 719.A, Tie City and Happy Jack parking areas, according to a Forest Service press release. The Forest Service will use swinging gates and signage to ensure easy identification of closed areas.

The seasonal closures have been used over the last four years, in response to misuse and illegal off-roading which damaged roadbeds and natural resources on Pole Mountain.  The Pole Mountain Travel Management project signed the decision to seasonally close roads during snowmelt and wet conditions in July 2017 and an official date for the road closures was created.

“In response to the feedback I received from the public during the Pole Mountain Travel Management process, a set date for annual road closures has been established,” said Frank Romero, Laramie District Ranger, in a statement. “I firmly believe that this portion of the travel management decision will help provide a road system on Pole Mountain that is sustainable in the long term and will meet the needs of forest users, for both current and future generations.”

Romero said people will still be able to use Pole Mountain, but it will be limited to non-motorized use. He says limiting motorized use is an effective way to protect natural resources during a critical time in the year.

The opening date of the roads is not firmly established as it depends on weather and road conditions. District staff will monitor the conditions on Pole Mountain in late spring to open the roads as soon as possible.