Let’s face it, COVID-19 was hard on a lot of people as well as our ways of life. Public access to the Conservation Areas was no exception. Currently, public access remains closed, but we are hoping to receive authorization to re-open these Conservation Areas in the coming weeks. Check back soon for more info. Once we re-open, we will be rolling out hunting information to this website as soon as possible for people to enter for a chance at getting a property access permit for big game hunting. We will also be updating regulations, daily access permits, a camping reservation system at Pine Creek and other new features to the website. Access to Austin Hot Springs remains CLOSED at all times to the public until further notice.
Another exciting update is the Spring Basin land exchange with the Tribes and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planned to be closed on July 1. This date has shifted many times already, so this is not solid, but nearly all of the pieces are in place for this to be finalized. Once completed, we will issue new Pine Creek Conservation Area maps at the kiosks. This new map is already posted on this website The land exchange involves 4,543 acres of Pine Creek (Tribal lands) being transferred to the BLM and 4,224 acres of BLM lands being transferred to the Tribes. The result will be a more consolidated Pine Creek Conservation Area (fewer BLM inholdings), a larger Spring Basin Wilderness, and some additional BLM lands to the south of Pine Creek, including river frontage near Burnt Ranch area. One result of this exchange is that we will begin writing a new management plan for the Pine Creek Conservation Area. We will be asking for public input on that planning process. Stay tuned!