Forest Service Implements Winter Closures

Central Oregon - The Deschutes National Forest has instituted several seasonal closures and reminds the public to heed wildlife closures to protect critical deer and elk winter range in the coming months.

On the Monday, December 3, the gate will close on Forest Road 16 near Three Creek Sno-Park on the Sisters Ranger District. On the Bend-Fort Rock District, the gate accessing Tumalo Falls has been closed for the season. 

December 1 also marks the beginning of critical habitat closures for deer and elk winter range across the Forest. This closure includes all motorized vehicles (including snowmobiles and electric bicycles) and have been put in place to protect deer and elk during the winter. These protected areas usually have minimal amounts of snow cover and provide vegetation for forage, hiding cover and protection from weather. There are four of these closure areas on the Deschutes National Forest—Cabin/Silver Lake, Metolius Winter Range, Opine Travel Management Area and Tumalo Winter Range. For more information including maps of these area, please visit the “What is winter range?” section at:

The public is reminded to be cautious when driving on all forest roads in the winter months. Not all roads will be gated, and those that are blocked by snow or water should be considered impassable for public safety as well as the protection of natural resources.  The public needs to be prepared at all times, whether it is a short or long journey into the forest. Please take all precautions as weather and road conditions can change rapidly.  Be prepared for winter driving, limited sight distance and bumpy driving on all Forest Service roads.  Stay prepared for by bringing extra clothing, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, shovel, tire chains and let someone know your destination and expected day/time of return.

For more information on winter range, visit: