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Montana FWP encourages social distancing at state parks

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 22:37:31-04

Many Montana state parks remain open but with some limitations.

The stay-at-home directive issued by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock includes a provision allowing outdoor recreation.

Fish, Wildlife, and Parks officials have clarified what is open for state parks.

Places where people normally would congregate like playgrounds and picnic areas, as well as other groups sites, are closed.

FWP has put up signs closing these areas at Lake Elmo State Park

Fishing piers are also closed, except to persons with disabilities.

Fishing accesses and other parks can be used, but there is no overnight camping allowed.

FWP wants to make sure this information is out, since this is the time of year when parks start to get more visitors.

"We've had quite a bit of traffic at our fishing access sites, so we are kind of watching that," said Bob Gibson, FWP communications manager. "People have been good so far, but we're getting heavier use than normal. We have had some people that have decided that they'll ignore our closures on fishing piers and things like that and then those people need to be reminded that those are closed. The places where you normally would camp to park are not closed. We're just not allowing overnight camping there."

Gibson, who is based in Billings, said this is the same throughout Montana.

However, Bannack State Park, a ghost town near Dillon has temporarily closed because of the difficulty of adhering to social distancing guidelines.