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The date for the annual winter closure at the Wick/Beumee Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) near Arlington has changed.

The majority of WHMAs across the state have winter closures or restrictions each year to provide protections for wildlife on their winter ranges. In the past, the Wick WHMA closed on Nov. 16 and remained closed through May 15. The newly modified closure dates will be Dec. 1 through May 15, and only on the WHMA lands south of Interstate 80. The north side will remain open for public access year round.

The two-week extension is to coincide with the later hunting season and provide more opportunity for hunters to harvest elk in Hunt Area 11 as wildlife managers mitigate damage on private lands and achieve population objectives. The change goes into effect immediately.

“Seasonal closures are essential for minimizing stress-causing disturbances to wintering deer, elk, bighorn sheep and other wildlife,” said Jerry Cowles, habitat and access supervisor for the Laramie Region. “Closures also reduce the human and recreational impacts to the forage, which supports the wintering wildlife.”