North Round Valley Preserve: Winter Seasonal Etiquette
North Round Valley Preserve provides a habitat for many species of wildlife. In the winter, this site acts as a critical habitat for Elk in particular. With this sensitive wildlife present, there are a few things to note as you enjoy the wonderful winter wonderland that is the North Round Valley Preserve!
ELK ON THE PRESERVE
Elk migrate from high elevation mountainous habitat to lower elevation and snow cover in the Fall, and North Round Valley Preserve is a place that has been identified as a critical habitat winter range elk migration corridor. This desirable habitat is comprised of valley bottoms with less snow accumulation, providing food and resources that are vital to the Rocky Mountain elk.
As development increases, the contiguous habitat for these ungulates is decreasing. This pushes elk into smaller and smaller areas, which in turn do not provide as much access to resources.
Human activity can also push elk out of these migration areas, which can impact the herd negatively if there are not enough resources available to them.
In the winter especially, these corridor areas are so essential to the species. This is a season with low food availability and cold temperatures, both factors that can have a serious impact on elk populations. That's why places like North Round Valley are so critical for their survival during these winter months.
Some subspecies migrate up to 100 miles for food resources and reproduction
purposes! This takes a toll on elk health-- humans should be aware that the impacts we are having by using this area do not play a role in negatively affecting these magnificent creatures!
How do you minimize your impacts to elk herds while you're out on North Round Valley Preserve?
First and foremost, stay on designated trails! Utah Open Lands has worked closely to make ensure winter use has minimal impacts to wildlife. If you're recreating on a winter designated trail and you see an elk, keep the following in mind:
Always keep a safe distance: We recommend keeping 30 metres, or 3 bus lengths, away from elk for safety.
If an elk becomes alert or nervous, grinds its teeth or sends its ears back, you're too close - back off slowly
If you want a closer look, use binocuars! North Round Valley Preserve provides amazing viewing opportunities, as long as you are staying on designated trails.
Never approach or feed any wildlife for their well-being as well and yours!
If you're recreating with a dog, make sure you keep your pet under control and on-leash near any wildlife
Always keep an eye out while your recreating to make sure you're aware of your surroundings and potential wildlife.