The Department of the Interior’s current COVID-19 policy incorporates CDC guidance. As CDC science-based guidance changes, our policy will adapt. Visitors have always been encouraged by DOI to review CDC guidance when making their plans to recreate responsibly. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. Unvaccinated people must wear a mask indoors in DOI buildings at all times and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands. We will continue to ask visitors to follow CDC guidance to recreate responsibly.
The latest information on changes to facilities and services in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available here.
New Mexico Lotteries and Permit Systems
Rio Chama Wild and Scenic River
Rio Chama Lottery Application for a Weekend Launch
The BLM uses a lottery system to reserve weekend (Friday-Saturday) launch dates from April 15 through September 15 and uses RECREATION.gov to purchase and issue all permits between April 15 through September 15. Please note that for a launch before of April 15 and after September 15, you must fill out and pay $5 per person (EXACT CHANGE or check) through the self-registration permit box. The maximum group size is 16. Groups can not be split up in an attempt to circumvent the maximum group size of 16. Fire pans and all other required equipment must be shown at the boat ramp during check-in. Failure to have the required equipment will prevent the launch of the party.
Carrizozo Land Partnership
Public lands managed by the BLM between the Carrizozo Lava Flow and the White Sands Missile Range can only be reached by crossing private land. The Carrizozo Land Partnership, a partnership between the BLM, private land owners and ranchers of this area, has arranged for public access to BLM lands in this area by a vehicle pass process.