Snowmobilers urged to follow rules or face fines
Steamboat Springs — Some snowmobilers are paying the price for venturing into areas they should not have been.
The U.S. Forest Service recently cited six people who were riding in non-motorized areas on Rabbit Ears Pass. The west side of the pass is reserved for non-motorized uses, while snowmobiles can be used on the east side.
The Forest Service also cited two people who were caught riding in the Zirkel Wilderness. Snowmobiling is never allowed in wilderness areas, and the Forest Service believes snowmobilers should know better.
“There are markers along the boundaries,” Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said.
The fine for snowmobiling in forbidden areas is $500.
“If they are snowmobiling in areas where they aren’t supposed to be, and they cause resource damage, it could be a couple citations,” Voos said.
Ultimately, it is up to forest users to know where they are and what the rules are.
“We want all user groups to hear this message, but knowing where you are is especially important for snowmobilers,” said Ben Lindsley, with the Hahn’s Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. “This is simply because of how easy it is for them to cover large amounts of ground in a short amount of time.”
The Forest Service also reminded people that the west side of Buffalo Pass is a Winter Backcountry Permit Area, in which a permit is required for all uses. There is also an area in which only non-motorized uses are allowed.
Mandatory and voluntary closures are in place annually from Dec. 1 to April 15 at trailheads and in areas near town designated as wildlife winter range.
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Steamboat Springs part-time resident David Dennis is approaching the third-year mark from when his right leg was amputated below the knee.