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Contact: Christopher Derman, 423-569-9778Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Monday, May 4, Big South Fork will reopen access to trails and backcountry camping.
With public health in mind, restroom facilities, campgrounds, Charit Creek Lodge, Bandy Creek Stables, and visitor centers remain closed at this time.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Big South Fork, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website (nps.gov/biso) and social media channels (twitter.com/BigSouthForkNPS, facebook.com/BigSouthForkNPS, Instagram.com/BigSouthForkNPS).
Updates about NPS operations will be posted onwww.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Last updated: May 3, 2020