Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland closures to remain in effect through May 31

(LARAMIE, Wyo.)  May 19, 2020 – Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland (MBRTB) officials announced today that developed recreation sites will remain closed through May 31. This allows employees to prepare facilities and ensure the necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies are readily available. Trails and general forest areas will remain accessible for public use.

The MBRTB area-specific closure order replaces the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region order, which is scheduled to be rescinded on May 20.

“The Forests and Grassland are open for dispersed use as we prepare to offer public services this summer,” said Forest Supervisor Russ Bacon. “We are working to ensure our staff has time to coordinate with local partners and follow health and safety guidelines. After May 31, we will re-evaluate sites for opening based on multiple factors and will initially focus on preparing high-use sites. Safety of our employees and the public will continue to be our number one priority.”

The value of nature to promote mental and physical health comes at a time when access is vital to the American public. We are working diligently to open developed recreation sites for full access and ask that visitors be patient during this transition period. Many MBRTB developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, day-use sites, visitor centers and picnic areas, are not typically open this time of year due to lack of accessibility.

If you do plan on visiting the national forest, please be aware of local county and state health regulations where you visit and adhere to the following safety and responsibility guidelines:

  • Stay close to home to keep other communities safe.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Avoid crowding in parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks and other areas.
  • Take CDC precautions to prevent illnesses like COVID-19.
  • Prepare for limited or no services, such as restroom facilities and garbage collection.
  • Prepare to pack out trash and human waste.

Fire restrictions will not be in effect on the MBRTB after May 20; however, please follow basic fire safety guidelines.

Our offices are serving the public remotely and are available by phone. Call your local office for site-specific information.

  • Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, Saratoga, Wyo., (307) 326-5258
  • Douglas Ranger District, Douglas, Wyo., (307) 358-4690
  • Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (970) 870-2299
  • Forest Supervisor’s Office & Laramie Ranger District, Laramie, Wyo., (307) 745-2300
  • Parks Ranger District, Walden, Colo., (970) 723-2700
  • Yampa Ranger District, Yampa, Colo., (970) 638-4516

Additional information may be found on our website or you can follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.

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