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February 2024

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September 25 - October 8

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Temporary Health and Safety Closure to Restore Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

The Carson National Forest is assisting the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) with a closure order for the use of the insecticide piscicide (rotenone) and rotenone neutralizer (potassium permanganate). This measure is to restore Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout and native fish communities on the upper Rio Costilla Water-shed on the Carson National Forest Valle Vidal Management Unit. This closure order went into effect on September 25 and will remain so through October 8 on the Questa Ranger District. The NMDGF will have an information booth on Forest Road 1950 (the main Valle Vidal Road) with personnel to interact with the public during this time.

Closure Order Details:

  • The closure order closes public ac-cess to FR 1900 from 09/25 (12 am) through 10/08 (11:59 pm). Costilla Dam operators are exempted and can use FR 1950 for access.
  • The public can still drive on FR 1950 through the closure area but they may not exit their vehicles inside the area. This restriction applies to FR 1950 from the west boundary of the Valle Vidal to the junction of FR 1950 and Little Costilla Creek.
  • Hunters and outfitters holding ELK3- 406 licenses can coordinate with NM Dept. of Game and Fish to access areas not actively being treated with piscicides and act in compliance with the treatment advisory notices within the closure area.
  • Holders of grazing permits and their employees may coordinate with NM Dept. of Game and Fish personnel to access portions of the closure area relative to livestock management needs in areas not being actively treated with piscicides and acting in compliance with advisory notices within the restricted area.
  • Federal, state, or local officers or members of an organized rescue or firefighting resource(s) are also exempted from the closure order restrictions.
  • This order can be enforced by any commissioned law enforcement officer.

The purpose of this Order is to provide for protection of public health and safety by limiting the potential for incidental or accidental exposure to the fish piscicide during the period when it is being applied. Closure order #02-500 is posted on the Carson National Forest website under Alerts and Notices.

More information about the Car-son National Forest is available on the forest’s website at https://www.fs.usda. gov/Carson and through social media on Facebook and Twitter pages.