April 1, 2004 DON'T GET FOOLED ON APRIL 1 OPENING OF EGIN-HAMER CLOSURE AREA. SOUTHERN PART OPEN, NORTHERN PORTION STILL CLOSED! IDAHO FALLS- Everyone knows that April 1 is "April Fools Day," but local resource management agencies want to make sure that no one gets fooled by management guidelines regarding the Egin-Hamer Area Closure. Seven years ago, Fremont and Jefferson County Commissioners approached the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) about revisiting the Egin-Hamer Road winter road closure issue. An agreement was arranged that allowed for opening the road to winter travel in return for closing off important winter range adjacent to the road. Because habitat needs change for wildlife as the winter progresses, the closure was divided in two segments, each with a different opening day. The first opening date for the southern portion is nearly upon us. Spring has come early enough that most of the deer and elk have moved to the northern segment and conflicts with humans should be minimal. The Egin-Hamer Road divides the closures area into two uneven segments. The smaller southern segment will open to human traffic on April 1, 2004. The larger northern segment will remain closed to human traffic until May 1, 2004. The agreement also included access allowances for private landowners with business concerns requiring entry into the closure area. The segment that opens on April 1 is bordered on by the Egin-Hamer Road on the north and Highway 33 on the south. The western boundary is Interstate 15 and the eastern boundary runs from where the Henrys Fork crosses Highway 33 and heads north through Plano and then toward Egin. Exact descriptions are available at the Idaho Falls BLM & IDFG Offices. Biologists are keeping a close eye on the movement of radio collared fawns in the area. If they move far enough north, land managers and county officials may decide to lift the closure early, but until official notice is given the area remains off-limits to humans! Specific information regarding the agreement may be obtained by contacting the local BLM Office in Idaho Falls at 208-524-7445 or the IDFG Office at 208-525-7290.