By Esther Godson
Fence lines and gates run across several trail systems on the San Juan National Forest. The Forest wants to remind trail users to remember to close gates they open across these trails. The general rule is to leave gates as they were found, whether it is open or closed. Forest recreation and range specialists continue to discover more gates being left open as summer recreation increases.
These gates ensure grazing livestock stay in correct pastures, stay out of areas and help protect resources. Leaving gates open reduces the ability to effectively manage rangeland resources and creates unnecessary work for the grazing permittees. We encourage recreation users to leave gates as they were found when they pass through to ensure that grazing livestock remain where they are supposed to be.
Additionally, forest visitors should avoid parking vehicles in front of any gates whether they are open or closed. This also applies to handling facilities such as corrals and loading chutes. These range improvements are essential for effectively managing livestock.
Lastly, while encounters with aggressive livestock are rare, if you encounter an animal displaying aggressive characteristics, slowly back away from the area. Avoid approaching bulls or getting between a cow and her calf. It is best to give them space and move around the herd.
For information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874.