State and Federal Officials Advise Outdoor Enthusiasts to Recreate Responsibly in the Great Outdoors This Thanksgiving Weekend
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— With the Thanksgiving holiday weekend approaching, California State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) advise outdoor enthusiasts to recreate responsibly by being prepared, flexible and respectful when venturing into the outdoors. With many activities limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor public spaces have been essential to many Californians. As a result, high visitation surges are expected this desert season, including over Thanksgiving weekend.
“With most of California’s counties now in the most restrictive COVID-19 blueprint tier, it is more important than ever for everyone to continue slowing the spread of the virus by planning ahead, wearing face coverings, and practicing physical distancing, even in the outdoors,” said Director for California State Parks Armando Quintero.
“We encourage visitors to remain vigilant when recreating on public lands. As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to issue critical information about COVID-19 and how you can best protect yourself from the virus,” said California State Director for BLM Karen Mourtisen.
“A thank you to outdoor enthusiasts, as we collectively enable responsible recreation to protect the health of all Californians,” said Director for Cal OES Mike Ghilarducci.
- Stay Local: Stay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you are sick or someone in your household has had coronavirus in the last two weeks.
- Plan Ahead:
- Stay Safer at 6 feet: Do your part – practice physical distancing and recreate responsibly. 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.
- Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more. Individuals For details, please visit .
- Keep Clean: Be prepared. Not all restrooms are available. In some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Camping: If you are camping in an RV, please use the restrooms in your own unit. This will help reduce the use of the shared restrooms at campgrounds. .
- Avoid Alcohol: Operating your boat or an off-highway vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more is against the law. Impaired operators will be stopped and can be arrested even with a lower BAC if the conditions are not safe. Your off-highway vehicle and boat can be impounded.
- Share the Road: Observe posted speed limits. Stay in your lane on blind curves and do not cut corners. Do not pass on double-yellow lines and pass only when you have a clear view of oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so. Be prepared for equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, wildlife, rocks, tree limbs, etc., on roadways.
- Cell Phone Use: Cell phone coverage can be spotty or nonexistent. This is especially true for desert public outdoor spaces. Have a way to communicate if there is an emergency. Find out the location of the nearest park ranger station. Bring a hard-copy map and know your route before leaving home.
- Wildlife and vegetation are integral parts of the ecosystem and natural community of parks. As such, they are protected by federal and state laws. Help us keep this outdoor setting natural by o
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
Below are some important COVID-19 links:
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. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.