Six State Wildlife Areas Closed

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Colorado Division of Wildlife Director Russell George has ordered the indefinite closure of six state wildlife areas because of active fires or the threat of fires due to extremely dry conditions.

The opening of Mount Evans State Wildlife Area in Clear Creek County west of Evergreen has been indefinitely postponed. The area normally opens to public use on June 15.

The other five state wildlife areas closed by George's order include: Cherokee in Larimer County, Dome Rock in Teller County, and James M. John, Lake Dorothey and Bosque del Oso in Las Animas County.

"We are closing these state wildlife areas either because there are fires currently burning in or near them, or conditions are so extraordinarily dry that we're concerned fires can occur at any time," George said.

The areas will remain closed until conditions improve, George said.

The Division has more than 240 state wildlife areas around Colorado, which provide hunting, fishing and watchable wildlife opportunities for everyone to enjoy. The areas were purchased with state and federal money collected through license fees and a federal excise tax on the manufacture of hunting- and fishing-related equipment.

"Obviously the vast majority of our state wildlife areas remain open to the public, and we encourage people to make use of these areas to enjoy Colorado?s wildlife," George said. "It's also important that people visiting these and other public lands follow the statewide fire ban now in effect so that new fires don't occur."

A list of the state wildlife areas is included in the Division's 2002 Colorado fishing season brochure, which is available at Division of Wildlife offices and sporting good stores throughout Colorado.