White River National Forest temporarily closes rec facilities

MEEKER | The White River National Forest has begun closing developed recreation facilities including rental cabins, toilets and group sites. This management action intends to protect public health and safety and align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Closures will be in effect until at least April 30, 2020.

Please visit the forest website at https://fs.usda.gov/whiteriver for current information on office and recreation facility status. Most backcountry access points and trails remain open. The Forest Service will be monitoring access points and adjusting management of these areas as appropriate to best meet social distancing direction and keep group sizes small. Safe and responsible use of our national forests will reduce impacts to local communities who may be at risk from the virus.

Access to the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area from I-70 at Vail Pass is closed. Access to the area from other locations such as Camp Hale are open, however patrol, grooming and parking lot plowing services have been discontinued. Access to the Hanging Lake facilities and Hanging Lake trail are closed through April 11.

The White River National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and reservation policies through Recreation.gov. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages of any changes affecting their reservation.

COVID-19 poses unique and unprecedented risks to our workforce, visitors, and the communities we live in and support. For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19, contact your local health officials or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

The White River National Forest is conducting business and providing services virtually as well as continuing field patrols. If you need immediate assistance or have any questions, please call the following White River National Forest offices:

Blanco Ranger District in Meeker: 970-878-4039

Special to the Herald Times