How to #RecreateResponsibly during the COVID-19 health crisis
Be Safe, Respectful While Enjoying the Outdoors
As public lands and recreational areas begin to gradually reopen in Nevada, public officials are reminding residents and visitors to recreate responsibly by continuing to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19. With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, it is critical for everyone to practice responsible recreation to protect themselves and others in accordance with Gov. Sisolak’s Stay Safe to Stay Open initiative.
As the summer season gets underway and we spend more time in Nevada’s great outdoors, please remember that our public lands belong to all of us and we all share the responsibility of protecting each other, our natural places, and the communities that serve as the gateway to Nevada’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Just as you would at the grocery store or other public venue, please practice social distancing and wear a face mask when crossing paths with other outdoor recreationists, be it in the parking lot or out on the trail. And – as always – please be mindful and respectful to “leave no trace” while enjoying Nevada’s natural wonders. It is more important than ever to follow all regulations, including fire restrictions, and leave nothing behind -- whether it’s dog waste, your picnic trash, or the mask you brought with you.
Nevada’s amazing outdoor spaces can provide solace and healing during these trying times, but to protect one another, we need to follow some common-sense rules and courtesies when we recreate outdoors. Stay within small household groups, always carry a mask and sanitizer, and remember to prioritize the health of fellow recreationists and the local community, as well as the pristine condition of Nevada’s natural resources.
Eight rules for Nevadans looking to get outside:
1. Protecting the health of you and your fellow Nevadans should always be your top priority. Bring a mask whenever you recreate and put it on when approaching other groups. Practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet of space.
2. Prevent wildfires by following Nevada-wide fire restrictions. Check this site for details on fire bans before you venture outdoors. Avoid target shooting in non-designated areas and other high fire-risk activities. Keep a shovel, fire extinguisher, and at least five gallons of water readily available in the event of an unintentional fire start. Our firefighters and first responders thank you for using extra precaution during these trying times.
3. Avoid crowded trailheads and parking lots. Have a back-up plan if your favorite spot is too crowded. Remember, those State Parks and federal recreation areas that are open are operating under limited staffing and capacity, including day-use only limitations at most sites.
4. Know before you go. Check land management agency websites before venturing out to recreate. Many of these places are closed right now to protect public health. Nevada State Parks are open for day-use only, and on-site museums, visitor centers, and gift shops are closed until further notice.
5. Practice Leave No Trace principles. Pack it in, pack it out. Protect your fellow outdoor recreationists. Protect our shared natural resources.
6. Be prepared. Many facilities, including restrooms, remain closed. Be self-sufficient by bringing in your own food, water, and trash bags.
7. Public gatherings, events, and camping in developed sites are still banned. Group-use areas, both day use and overnight camping, remain closed at all Nevada State Parks and at many local and federal recreation sites.
8. Take it slow. Now is not the time to try an extreme or risky recreational activity. Thank you for protecting Nevada's healthcare workers.
For all State of Nevada recreation sites, please remember to visit the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website and follow @NevDCNR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates on public lands closures, re-openings, and other pertinent information. Join the conversation using #RecreateResponsibly. Additionally, please visit parks.nv.gov and follow @NVStateParks on Facebook for the latest information on Nevada State Parks.