On Friday, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced changes to allowable activities at some of its recreation areas.
“It doesn’t look like we’ll be closing sites completely – it’ll be a little more precise than that,” said FWP spokesman Greg Lemon. “It’ll be things like you might not be able to camp, but you’ll still be able to use sites for day-use.”
State parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas remain open with the following restrictions:
- Overnight camping will not be allowed. Campgrounds will be systematically closed, giving current campers 72-hour notice.
- Group use sites will be closed, including playgrounds.
- 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.
With the governor’s new order, FWP has fielded phone calls from people asking many different questions, including whether restrictions in other states could come to Montana. For example, the state of Washington prohibited fishing to limit the spread of COVID-19, but Montana has had no such discussions, Lemon said.