Plan Ahead for a SAFE Visit to the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands

Albuquerque, NM – May 15, 2020 – The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is paramount at the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the availability of developed recreation sites, the public is reminded that the most prudent option for everyone is to Stay Safe, Stay Home.  With this in mind, recreational opportunities will continue to change as circumstances warrant in the upcoming summer season.

To protect public health and safety, the Mt. Taylor Ranger District is closing the following recreation facilities in response to COVID-19, effective May 15:

  • McGaffey Recreation Complex, including the Oso/Page Campground, McKenzie Picnic site, and group reservation sites
  • Quaking Aspen Campground
  • Coalmine Campground
  • Ojo Redondo Campground
  • Lobo Canyon Picnic Site

These sites will continue to be monitored and assessed; they will reopen when safe, based on local conditions.

Some services and operations will begin to resume on other districts of the Cibola.   District Rangers and recreation staff are carefully assessing each recreation site to consider a phased reopening of some facilities, informed by current public health guidance. The sites will be monitored on a regular basis.  The majority of dispersed recreation opportunities on the forest remain open.

Even as access to amenities are reinstated at some developed recreation sites, services may remain limited.  The public is reminded that facilities such as toilets and trash are only cleaned periodically and visitors are primarily responsible for protecting their own health and safety. The public is also encouraged to be respectful of others by keeping toilets and trash containers as clean and orderly as possible. Please consider your own health and sanitation as you use the restrooms.

Please plan ahead to make your visit as safe and comfortable as possible.

  • Bring hand sanitizer!  The majority of Forest sites do not offer hand-washing facilities. Use hand sanitizer frequently after touching surfaces.  Hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol.
  • Respect social distance. Stay at least 6 feet away from other visitors and visit in groups of five people or less. 
  • Be a good steward.  Take responsibility for keeping things clean. National Forests are your lands – enjoy and appreciate them
  • Try to visit areas that are not as crowded. If an area is busy, please search for a less occupied location. Additional options can be found on the Cibola website or the Interactive Visitor Use Map.
  • Avoid visiting the Cibola during high use times. Weekdays are typically less crowded than weekends.
  • Follow fire restrictions. Fire restrictions remain in place, check here for current information.
  • Pack it in/Pack it out. Take your trash with you when you leave. Overflowing trash receptacles create litter, attract predators, and can be harmful to wildlife.
  • Follow New Mexico state public health orders and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing.
  • Visit the Interactive Visitor Map for more information on available activities and limited service  sites.

For additional information on COVID-19, go to https://www.coronavirus.gov. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: www.usda.gov/coronavirus. Updates on the Cibola response to COVID-19 will also be posted on the Cibola website, and Facebook.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cibola/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD739037