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FWP Adjusts Management In Response To COVID-19, State Lands Remain Open For Day Use

Montanans are lucky to have so many opportunities to get outdoors and recreate, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks encourages recreation outside, we also encourage careful planning and prudence. The safety of the public and FWP staff is of utmost concern.

As a reminder, social distancing guidelines should be followed at all FWP sites. Keep your distance from fellow recreators. If a parking lot at a fishing access site or state park is full, consider another place to recreate. Also, in keeping with Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive, FWP asks that all people stay close to home and recreate in their local community.

State parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas remain open for day use only, though recreators must remember to check for seasonal closures.

•Overnight camping will not be allowed. Campgrounds will be systematically closed, giving current campers 72hour notice.

•Group use sites will be closed, including playgrounds. This also includes all fishing piers at Montana state parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas due to the risk of high congregation.

•Visitor center closures will be extended at least through April 10.

•Bathrooms at many locations will be limited due to public and employee safety concerns, because of the current lack of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. Sites will be regularly patrolled by enforcement staff.

•Specific sites may close to address groups gathering, public health and safety, FWP employee safety or resource damage.

At this time, regularly scheduled hunting seasons are not canceled. This includes spring turkey season, which starts April 11, and spring bear season, which starts April 15. However, hunters should practice social distancing and all COVID-19 response directives from the governor, including limiting group gatherings and keeping six feet away from people.

Hunters should also keep this in mind when planning for their hunts. If hunting on private land, landowner permission is required, but should be sought by email or phone, not in person.

“These are trying times for everyone, and we all know that going outside is one important way to stay healthy,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “Like the governor, I trust Montanans to understand the importance of social distancing while recreating outside. Stay close to home when looking for a place to recreate, and please follow the governor’s directives.”

Please help FWP protect the resources that are so valuable to all Montanans.

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