National Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region Closes All Recreational Sites

Written by on April 9, 2020

More closures in national forests across the West.

Acting Regional Forester Jennifer Everlien signed an order closing all developed recreation sites within the Rocky Mountain Region of the National Forest Service. That region encompasses 24 national forests and grasslands across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Developed recreation sites are temporarily closed while dispersed camping, hiking and river uses are allowed, although discouraged. Closed developed recreation sites include campgrounds, day-use areas, picnic areas, and any other constructed facility amenities – such as potable water stations, fire rings/grills, picnic tables, restroom facilities with flush or vaulted toilets, and trashcans and trash collection services. Parking facilities, trails and trailheads remain open. Dispersed camping includes camping on a national forest or grassland where recreation facilities or services are not provided.

The reason for the closures is two-fold. Firstly, and most obviously, this is yet another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The second reason is to keep wilderness and communities safe from unwanted, human caused wildfires. Effective immediately and until rescinded, igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood-burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves and all smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, is prohibited throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.

These closures and restrictions are temporary, but as of yet no timeline has been provided.


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