To Members and Supporters of ABF, the official Park Partner
Last updated 8/3/2020 at 1:01pm
In the fall, I talked about the “season of change” in the Superintendent’s Message.
I would have never thought in my wildest dreams that change would involve a pandemic, a stalled economy, and discord, yet here we are.
Over the last several months, we witnessed an almost complete shutdown of our park units, something that goes against the very nature of what we strive to do by providing access and welcoming all individuals.
The pendulum is now swinging in the other direction where we have increased access to day use parking lots, backcountry areas, and overnight camping opportunities. We are currently developing plans to safely increase access at our visitor centers as well as looking for ways to safely bring back some of our volunteer programs.
This, no doubt, has truly been a crazy time and in the face of it all, I have seen many of our employees, volunteers, and partners stepping up to go above and beyond what is required of them by protecting our resources and providing some kind of service to our visitors.
Visiting parks and open spaces has always been a means of escaping life’s stressful moments and this time around has been no different. If you look back in history you will find that in the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression, hiking trails were considered purely in terms of their recreational value. During the Great Recession our parks continued to see an increase in visitation.
During this pandemic, once the stay-at-home orders were eased, our parks saw large numbers of visitors wanting to get out and recreate in our open spaces. During these challenging times, staff stayed the course. I thank each and every one of our staff members for being an essential part of our district team and being the good stewards we all signed up to be. I also thank the local community members and visitors for their understanding and support as we navigate these difficult times.
Please be safe and take care of each other and your families.
District Superintendent, Acting Colorado Desert District