Environment / Nature

BLM reminds visitors to recreate responsibly on public lands during Memorial Day weekend

Some areas remain closed; agency advises public to check webpage to determine status and condition before visiting.

Information provided by the Bureau of Land Management .

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said that it is working with local, state and federal partners during Memorial Day weekend and will use a phased approach to expand access to closed areas in California on a case-by-case basis.

According to a recent release, BLM said some areas remain temporarily closed and it encourages visitors to check the BLM California webpage to determine status and conditions before planning their visit at https://www.blm.gov/site-page/blm-california-covid-19-updates.

“This Memorial Day, please take time to remember and honor those men and women who gave their lives to protect our nation and the values we hold dear. And if you do choose to get outside on your public lands with friends and family over the weekend, please do so responsibly and safely,” said California State Director Karen Mourtisen.

The release noted that in California, BLM manages 15 million acres of public lands that support the agency’s multiple-use mission, which includes 1,735 miles of nationally designated trails and 356 miles of rivers.

The agency provided the following safety tips: 

  • Stay home if you don’t feel well or have recently been sick.
  • Follow guidance from local and state authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Avoid heavily used or crowded trails, parking areas, and sites and seek dispersed recreation opportunities in your local area. Have a backup plan to avoid crowded high-use areas. If you find an area to be crowded, turn around.
  • Check with local offices for current conditions, including closures and changes in service, before visiting popular areas and visit blm.gov for operating status updates.
  • Practice social distancing. Be considerate of others enjoying the outdoors by giving them as much space as possible in parking lots, at trailheads and out on public lands.
  • Help prevent human-caused wildfires. Completely extinguish campfires by using the “drown, stir and feel” method. Do not park on dry grass and ensure tow chains are not dragging and tow straps are secured. Observe fire danger restrictions on BLM lands designated as high-risk early in this fire season. To obtain training on campfire safety or to obtain a California campfire permit, visit preventwildfireca.org/campfire-Permit. Follow fireworks restrictions and target shooting requirements at all times. A listing of fire restrictions throughout BLM California is available at https://go.usa.gov/xmUEG.
  • Avoid unnecessary risks while recreating to prevent overwhelming medical facilities.
  • Bring supplies for sanitation with you and pack out your trash. Facilities, including bathrooms and visitor centers may not be open or available for in-person contact.

Updates about the overall Bureau of Land Management response to COVID-19 are posted at https://www.blm.gov/alert/coronavirus-advisory.

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BenitoLink Staff