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Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Mancos-Dolores Ranger District
Frequently Asked Questions about Mancos-Dolores Ranger District
Do I need a permit to hike/camp in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area? No
Where can I buy Christmas Tree permits? The Dolores Public Lands Office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Local vendors include Mesa Merc (Red Mesa), Mancos Movie Manor and Cox Conoco in Mancos, City Market in Cortez, Skyline and Sportsman Center in Dolores, Dove Creek Superette.
Are off-road vehicles(OHV's), such as all-terrain vehicles or dirt bikes, permitted on the forest access roads? The state does not allow unlicensed OHV's on publicly maintained roads which include forest access roads. When a state patrol or sheriff's deputy patrols on forest access roads and catches anyone with an unlicensed OHV. the patrolman could issue a ticket, and it will hold up in court. All unlicensed OHV's must have current registration to operate off forest roads(a "registration" is different from a "licnse").
How far should you be away from a source of water when disperse camping? We encourage people to camp at least two hundred feet away from any source of water where terrain permits (especially a lake). In the wilderness, this is the law.
How long is the limit for camping outside of developed campgrounds? Camping on the SJNF outside of developed campgrounds is limited to two weeks in any one spot. After 14 days, camp must be moved 15 miles as the crow flies, from its present location. You may not return to the same spot for 45 days. The 14 day restriction does not apply to designated camp-grounds where you pay a daily fee for campsites. Time limitations in developed areas vary by campground and are posted at entrances.
What should I do if I find an injured animal or an abandoned fawn/cub or elk calf? If you find and injured animal, do not approach the animal, contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW)in Durango at (970)247-0855 give them the location of the animal and they will send a local Colorado Wildlife Officer to investigate. If you find an abandoned fawn/cub or elk calf, do not approach or attempt to touch or handle it. Chances are the mother is feeding or close by and has left the baby to rest.
Why does the Forest Service close roads to motorized traffic during the winter or after heavy rains? Certain areas are closed seasonally when the roads are wet and impassable and considerable road damage would occur. There are some areas that are closed temporarily to all motorized traffic (i.e.Sage Hen & House Creek), to protect big game that winter in those areas.

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