Snake Road closed for fall migration | New

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WOLF LAKE (WSIL) – The Shawnee Nation Forest has closed Snake Road for its fall migration. The closure allows safe crossing for all species of snakes and amphibians traveling to the limestone cliffs of the LaRue Marsh.

The 2.7-mile long route closes September 1 through October 30. Closing times are sometimes extended due to current observations and weather. Although the road is closed to vehicles, it is open to pedestrians.

According to Forest Service wildlife biologist Mark Vukovich, “The road closure is very important to maintaining the healthy population that exists there. Three species are listed as threatened in the state of Illinois. Twenty-three snake species have been documented in this region and it is one of the only regions in the United States to see so many different species in a small geographic area.

About 57% of amphibians and 56% of known reptiles in Illinois are found here.

Snake Road is located within the federally designated LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Natural Research Area. The following special regulations apply to Snake Road and the entire Natural Research Area throughout the year:

  • Unauthorized collection and handling of any animal species is prohibited.
  • No collection of any kind; Including plants or animals.
  • No clips, hooks, bags or containers of any kind.

To better protect animals and their habitats, visitors should also:

  • Stay on Snake Road and do not create trails.
  • Do not damage vegetation or pick wildflowers.
  • Carefully replace rocks or logs if they are lifted. Better yet, don’t bother at all.
  • Don’t harass or herd wildlife – Observe nature from a distance.
  • Pack up their trash and dispose of it off the National Forest Lands.

“We want people to care enough to protect the area and share it responsibly, knowing their actions are making a difference,” says Vukovich.

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