With significant snow forecasted for the week in Central Oregon, the Deschutes National Forest closed the gate on Forest Road 16 outside of Sisters near Three Creek Sno-Park for the season on Tuesday, November 26.

Beginning December 1, winter wildlife closures will take effect across the forest. There are four winter wildlife closure areas on the Deschutes National Forest — Cabin/Silver Lake, Metolius Winter Range, Opine Travel Management Area and Tumalo Winter Range. Motorized vehicles (including snowmobiles and electric bicycles) are prohibited in the closure areas 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.

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. 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. Bring extra clothing, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, shovel and tire chains. Let someone know your destination and expected day/time of return.