Mount Jumbo South Zone closure extended

MISSOULIAN STAFF

In consultation with state wildlife biologists, Parks and Recreation has extended the Mount Jumbo South Zone winter wildlife closure beyond the scheduled March 15 opening date. The annual closure protects the 75 to 95 elk and other animals inhabiting Jumbo’s lower elevations to feed and regain strength after a long winter. Cold winter temperatures and extended snow cover have delayed Jumbo’s spring green-up, leaving elk and other wildlife without adequate food at higher elevations.

Most of Mount Jumbo is closed annually on Dec. 1 to protect wintering wildlife. The South Zone, including all points south of Jumbo’s Saddle Road, will open in the next few weeks as spring vegetation arrives on Jumbo’s upper slopes and the elk move into the still-protected North Zone. The North Zone, which includes all points north of Saddle Road, remains closed until May 1 or later each year. The “L” Trail and US West Road remain open all year.

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