Gem State Roundup

Deep Idaho snowpack extends winter gate closure for Westside Ranger District 

By: - May 15, 2023 4:25 am
Westside Ranger District Idaho

The Westside Ranger District Office is located in Pocatello. (Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service)

Heavy winter snowfall is delaying the planned opening day of gates at the Westside Ranger District, which had been scheduled for May 15. 

The Westside Ranger District is one of seven districts within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.


Instead of opening the gates following the winter closure, employees are monitoring road conditions to determine when it is safe for the public to visit, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Forest Service. 

“I know the community is enthusiastic to get outside after this long winter, and are understandably anxious for the gates to open as the weather improves,” Westside District Ranger Kim Obele said in a written statement. “We are working hard to balance the public’s expectations with resource protection and will open them as soon as possible.”

The district is located in southeast Idaho, and its boundary stretches from the northern tip of Pocatello down into Utah. The Westside Ranger District includes the Curlew National Grassland, as well as a variety of terrain ranging from mountains to valley. The district is home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, elk, black bears, mountain lions, sharp-tailed grouse and owls. 

U.S. Forest Service employees asked the public to respect the locked gates on closed U.S. Forest Service roads. They also asked the public to avoid muddy, snow covered or wet roads and trails over the next couple of weeks to avoid damaging trails and roads. 

Anyone who has questions about the closures or specific areas of the Westside Ranger District may call the district office at 208-236-7500.


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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.