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WASHINGTON— With Memorial Day weekend approaching, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asks visitors to follow state and local public health guidance, come prepared, be flexible, and respect other users as well as natural and cultural resources on public lands. The BLM provides great opportunities for visitors to enjoy America’s open spaces – and to reflect on the sacrifices made by the United States Armed Services veterans who died serving our country.

“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 BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley.

BLM employees are hard at work for the American people and we continue to provide service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public lands offer great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors at a safe distance from others. Because the safety of our employees and the public remains paramount, the BLM reminds visitors to recreate responsibly and safely on Memorial Day weekend and throughout the remainder of the year by following our recreation tips.

Recreate Responsibly, Recreate Safely 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) at https://www.coronavirus.gov/.

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 http://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.

BLM-managed lands in Arizona are currently in Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. See https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/arizona/fire-restrictions for info.

You can help prevent wildfires by following all fire restrictions, using spark arresters on small equipment, securing tow chains, as well as checking the condition of tires and brakes before traveling, and never pull your vehicle off the road into dry vegetation. Preventing wildfires and creating defensible space protects communities, firefighters, and emergency responders from exposure to smoke, injury, or disease. For more information visit: wildlandfire.az.gov http://wildlandfire.az.gov/.

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.

Following guidance from the White House, CDC, and state and local public health authorities, we are increasing access and services to BLM-managed public lands, offices and facilities in a phased approach based on regional, state, and local conditions. Before visiting BLM lands, offices, and facilities, please check the appropriate website to determine its operating status and current conditions or contact your local BLM office.

Updates about the overall BLM response to COVID-19 are posted at https://www.blm.gov/alert/coronavirus-advisory and https://www.blm.gov/alert/coronavirus-advisory.

Additional Resources:

CDC Information on Protecting yourself: www.coronavirus.gov, www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm. Also see Leave No Trace ethics: https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/ and Tread Lightly principles: https://www.treadlightly.org/learn/.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

Reach the reporter at

lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

(1) comment

libertyminded

It is only Thursday afternoon and, I, a resident, am already afraid to go out because of all the irresponsible out of town people not wearing masks, not social distancing and crowding in everywhere. Just go home and take your viruses with you!

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