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5-5-CriticalHabitatPortions of the Lincoln National Forest will be closed for periods of several months over the next two years in order to protect an endangered mouse.

The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse is listed as an endangered species with critical habitat, areas considered necessary for the recovery of the species. The purpose of the closure is to protect areas of critical habitat during the season the species is active and most vulnerable.

The areas to be closed include small portions of Agua Chiquita, Silver Springs, Rio Penasco and Wills Canyon in the Sacramento Ranger District. The closure will remain in effect from May 1 – Oct. 31 this year and next. Further analysis will be completed to determine future actions beyond October 2017.

Any violation of the closure order will result in a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Signs will be posted in the closure areas.

For more information, contact Ciara Cusack at 575-682-2551.