New Mexico Limits Access During Elk Calving Season

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Public access to designated areas of the 20,400-acre Edward Sargent Wildlife Management Area near Chama will be limited to foot traffic only for fishing and hiking May 15 through July 1, 2007, to allow resident elk herds to have their offspring undisturbed.

The modified area closure was adopted following a public meeting among the Department of Game and Fish and community groups and individuals. It will allow entry by foot into areas where human presence will have little or no disturbance on the elk, said Bill Taylor, game manager for the Department's Northwest Area.

"We want the public to enjoy the area, but we don't want to interrupt the elk calving and rearing," Taylor said. The Department acquired the property in 1975 under a deed that designated the area to be managed specifically for wildlife conservation and habitat.

During elk calving season, which occurs primarily from May 15 through July 1, 2007, hiking will be allowed on the main road for about 1.5 miles from the gate to "no entry" signs. Fishing access will be allowed along the Rio Chamita for about 1 mile upstream from the creek's intersection with the main access road.

People are reminded that the nearby Humphries and Rio Chama wildlife areas are open to horseback and mountain bike riding. The Department also will be working in the next few months to identify more recreational opportunities on the state's wildlife areas.

For more information, please contact the Department's Northwest Area Office at (505) 222-4700, or the Santa Fe Office at (505) 476-8000.