Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

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looks easy from here
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Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by looks easy from here » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:09 pm

I can find no information one way or the other about the permanent closures Secor discusses in his High Sierra guide being in place between the JMT and the Sierra Crest in the Rae Lakes area ("Wrinkle: Bighorn Sheep", p. 175, 3rd ed.). Does anyone know whether or not they're still in place?








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bobby49
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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by bobby49 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:01 pm

There is the possibility that Secor's book is slightly outdated in a few places, but R.J. is no longer around to defend it.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by looks easy from here » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:02 pm

Yes, that is why I'm looking for clarification. I can't find anything else about it being in effect, and I also can't find anything about it being lifted. But I know archaic, obscure rules can sometimes be buried weird places and not get discussed much, so absence of proof isn't proof of absence.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by Dragonfly » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:36 pm

For what it's worth, I've worked in Sequoia-Kings for over a decade and have never heard of such a closure, despite being pretty curious about all things resource management in the Parks. We hauled out an entire new cabin to Rae a few years ago and a concerns about bighorn weren't mentioned. It's too late in the day and I'm in another state, but I can try to follow up tomorrow.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by looks easy from here » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:24 pm

Thanks. In case it's helpful, Secor describes the closure as "All cross country travel above 11,000 feet is prohibited east of the John Muir Trail and west of the Sierra crest, from North Dragon Pass on the south to Sawmill Pass Trail on the north, year-round."

Fwiw if you think inquiring might cause unwanted ripples up the food chain don't shake anything up on my account.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by Karch » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:03 am

Closures were lifted in 2011. Can't find an official notice, but it's referenced here https://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_report ... ast_1.html and here http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum ... -Rescinded

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by bobby49 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:11 am

That sounds about right.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by grampy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am

See this posting on the Inyo NF website:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/new ... RDB5201581
While it doesn’t state WHEN the seasonal off-trail restrictions were lifted, it does show that they were in effect for a number of years, AND that they could theoretically be re-imposed in the future, based on some periodic review process that the government has in place. Reading some other articles, mention was made of larger (than average) decline of the Baxter and Mt Williamson herds over the winter in 2016-2017; this triggered some sort of review, which (per the linked statement) they have decided NOT to act on.
The only restriction currently in effect is a ban on pack goats (!) in the bighorn sheep biological areas.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by looks easy from here » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:17 am

Thanks everyone. I'd seen the info about the seasonal Williamson closure being put on hiatus, but I'd missed any discussion about the Baxter herd population. If that was discussed with no mention of a closure I imagine that means they were all lifted.

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Re: Kings Canyon bighorn closures?

Post by grampy » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:59 pm

Sorry, I mis-spoke. The CDFW mentioned in their 2018 census comment (under the “Recent Events” heading) https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservatio ... KI/Langley
... that the Mt Langley herd had declined somewhat; no specific mention of similar decline in the Baxter herd count.

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