National Bison Range opens
News from the National Bison Range
CHARLO — National Bison Range staff recently announced that Red Sleep Mountain Drive is scheduled to open for the summer season on Saturday, May 13, weather and road conditions permitting.
The main gate will open by 6 a.m. and close at dark. Closing time will change throughout the season, so visitors are encouraged to check the gate or website for exact times. Morning and evening hours provide the best wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors planning evening trips need to begin the Red Sleep Mountain Drive route no later than 6 p.m. to finish the loop before the main gate closes at dark. The Refuge closes to all public use at night and visitors should plan to be off the Range by the time the main gate closes.
Also starting May 13, the Visitor Center will open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fees for the scenic drives will be charged starting May 13. There is no charge for the Visitor Center and day use areas or for educational groups. The Refuge will also be celebrating International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 13. Additional information regarding specific activities and times is available on the Refuge website: https:// www.fws.gov/refuge/national_ bison_range/.
The Prairie Drive (Winter Drive) will again be open to two-way traffic for the entire summer, traveling out along Mission Creek and into Alexander Basin. Restrictions for large vehicles and those towing vehicles will be in place. Because most of the scenic roads are steep and narrow, restrictions for large vehicles (over 30 feet in length) and for all trailers and towed vehicles will be enforced. Larger vehicles, trailers and other towed units will be restricted to accessing the Day Use Area, the Visitor Center and the West Loop. These vehicles will not be allowed on Red Sleep Mountain Drive or along the Prairie Drive so please plan accordingly. These larger vehicles and any trailers may be left in the parking lot at the Visitor Center if visitors have smaller vehicles (such as towed cars) with them. For safety reasons, motorcycles and bicycles are not allowed on the graveled scenic drives but may access the Visitor Center and the Day Use Area along paved roads.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.