In light of Governor Mike Dunleavy lifting a number of public health restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Land Management announced this week that all summer recreation sites will be open as weather and road conditions allow. For most sites this means opening on Memorial Day weekend.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners continues to be paramount,” said BLM Alaska State Director Chad Padgett, via news release. “Within Alaska, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and to regularly monitor these. We continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and follow CDC guidance to ensure public and employee spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners and volunteers.”

Some BLM-managed recreation sites never closed and summer recreation sites will be available as normal throughout the season, with the exception of the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center which is planned to open July 1 and the Campbell Creek Science Center which remains closed.

Prior to traveling to any BLM-managed recreation site, members of the public are encouraged to contact the local office to determine whether the site is accessible. The Fairbanks District office can be reached at 907-474-2200. You can find a list of recreation sites at on.doi.gov/2WyNwDS.

According to a news release, “a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited.” When recreating, the public are asked to follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, practice social distancing and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating on public lands prevent the spread of infectious diseases., which can be found online at bit.ly/2Z3BOmt. Details and updates on operations will continue to be posted on the BLM social media channels and its website, which can be found at on.doi.gov/3dJDANK.

Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.