Mask up when inside facilities in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
The National Park Service on Wednesday issued guidance to all visitors, following President Joe Biden’s executive order that requires face masks to be worn by employees, visitors, partners and contractors inside buildings and facilities.
At the Black Canyon and Curecanti National Recreation Area, masks are required in all buildings, including visitor centers and offices. They are also required on lands when it is not possible to maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet, such as at crowded overlooks and narrow trails.
Entry into small areas within visitors will remain limited. The park store operated by Western National Parks Association in the South Rim Visitor Center will continue operating from the back porch and requires a mask to enter.
“We appreciate the cooperation and consideration our staff, partners and visitors have shown as we have adapted to COVID precautions,” said Superintendent Deanna Greco in a news release. “This new requirement helps us to protect our staff and our visitors.”
The Bureau of Land Management is under the same guidelines as the NPS and other agencies within the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Mask use is required within facilities, offices and buildings as well as crowded trails, overlooks, historic homes and the like.
“Wearing a mask around others, physical distancing and washing your hands are the simplest and most effective public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said NPS Office of Public Health Director Captain Sara Newman in an Interior Department news release. “Getting outside and enjoying our public lands is essential to improving mental and physical health, but we all need to work together to recreate responsibly.”
“Working with public health officials and following the latest science and guidance, we can make national parks safer for employees, visitors and partners,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “We will continue to evaluate operations and make appropriate modifications to visitor services as needed.”
Visitors should check individual park websites and social media channels for details on operations before they visit. Park rangers are on duty to provide information, protect visitors and park resources, and uphold this requirement. Other tips to recreate responsibly are available on NPS.gov.
The U.S. Forest Service is awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture following Biden’s order.