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April 04, 2017
Contact: Daro Palmer, (509) 738-4120

WDFW extends winter road closure
on Sherman Creek Wildlife Area

SPOKANE – The winter road closure at the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area near Kettle Falls will remain in effect for up to a month longer than usual to protect soft, water-soaked road surfaces from damage by motor vehicle traffic.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) owns the wildlife area and normally opens the gates to motor vehicles April 1. However, the slow snow thaw in the region has prompted the department to extend the winter closure, said Daro Palmer, wildlife area assistant manager.

"We intend to open the gates no later than April 28, and hope to do so sooner if possible," Palmer said. "Right now, most of the roads are still covered in snow and there's a lot of water running. We're monitoring conditions using ATVs to avoid getting our pickups stuck in the mud."

Although the road closure has been extended, Palmer said the department welcomes non-motorized access to the portions of the wildlife area behind the gates.

"We recognize that this extension may inconvenience some prospective visitors – especially hunters, he said. "We want hunters and others planning to recreate in the area to know that they can still access the wildlife area from the regular access points available throughout the year."

Those areas include the parking area near the wildlife area headquarters; areas along Mellenberger Road; the parking area at the pheasant release site; parking areas along the Inchelium Highway; and the wide shoulders along SR20.

Users can also park at the bottom of the Trout Lake and Bisbee Mountain roads, but Palmer asks visitors to avoid blocking the gates.

More information about the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/sherman_creek/.