The auto tour loop and some nearby hiking trails in the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Butte County was closed for the summer on June 15, with crews expected to carry out several construction improvements to the area.

The work will be to the west side of the wildlife area near Parking Lot 14. Crews will regrade steep slopes on the auto tour roadway to improve safety and add additional turnouts for wildlife viewing and passing. The pond bottoms along the loop will be reshaped to improve water movement and habitat management — work that is being funded through a $1.4 million grant from the state Wildlife Conservation Board.

Additionally, crews will construct a mobility-impaired fishing pier on the pond adjacent to Parking Lot 14 using another $310,000 grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board. The pier would be open for fishing throughout the spring and summer months when the wildlife area is open to fishing.

Work is expected to conclude in early October.

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