CPW photo of a woman walking her dog.

Staff Report

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is again reminding everyone, for the safety of each individual community, to remain close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to be aware and follow all government restrictions.

According to CPW, it is each person’s responsibility to be aware of the current restrictions before going out to recreate.

Helping in the process of informing the public is the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, which is providing detailed, up-to-date information on the status of outdoor recreation, trails, marinas and other closures. These updates are front and center on its website at cdnr.us.

CPW and DNR also push the use of the mobile application COTREX, which stands for Colorado Trail Explorer. This app is designed to provide updated, live information on CPW-managed trails all over the state. Users can quickly find which trails are still open and which ones are recommended at this time. It ultimately allows residents to find places to recreate close to home.

CPW properties are open for recreation with a few exceptions for seasonal restrictions, CPW said, but on those properties, people need to remember social distancing and facial masks as requested by Gov. Jared Polis.

While day-use properties are still largely available to the public, camping currently is not allowed in any state park or state wildlife area. The federal government has also placed camping and recreation restrictions on U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and BLM lands, CPW said.

“CPW wants people to get outside and exercise but to do it safely and within the rules,” said Cory Chick, Southwest Region manager for CPW. “People also need to understand that local governments have the authority to close certain roads and trails that provide access to recreation areas.”

Some counties have closed roads that lead to state wildlife areas where people might go to fish, hunt or hike during these times, and those closures are able to be enforced by local law enforcement.

“We are asking people to be considerate of rural areas that have their own vulnerable populations and lack the healthcare resources that might exist in more populated areas,” said Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager in the San Luis Valley. “Please, take the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order seriously.”

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