LOVELL, Wyo – The National Park Service announced on Tuesday it is modifying operations to outdoor activities in the Fort Smith area in an effort to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
"The North District near Fort Smith, MT, is closed to all public entry and suspending all services," NPS said in a media release.
Bighorn Canyon is implementing modifications in the North District at the request of public health officers from Big Horn County, the Bureau of Reclamation and from the Crow Tribal Government as part of heightened security measures.
"Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area continues working with neighbors and partners, evaluating the facilities and park operations on a daily basis in support of federal, state, and local mandates to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)," the organization said.
BCNRA is emploring visitors to adhere to the social distancing order, especially near and on the Barry’s Landing and Kane boat ramps that remain open on the park's south end. Park workers say they will be enforcing the order and that if boaters and fishing enthusiasts don't strictly follow it, the south end may close as well.
The remainder of the NPA's media release stated:
As of March 31, 2020, Bighorn Canyon National Recreational Area, -This closure includes but is not limited to the following:
- All NPS administered property
- All Restroom facilities
- Afterbay and Grapevine Creek Campgrounds.
- Boat ramps at Ok-A-Beh, Afterbay Lake, Afterbay River, and Three Mile River Access
- The Headgate Trail, Beaver Pond Trail, and 3 Mile Trail.
- Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center
On the South District of Bighorn Canyon near Lovell, Wyoming, the Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center is closed. The Barry’s Landing and Kane boat ramps remain open. The Horseshoe Bend ramp is closed due to low launch levels. Trail Creek and Horseshoe Bend Campground and all trails remain open to provide healthy outdoor options for the public. These areas continue to be monitored daily and could be subject to closure.
We continue to closely monitor visitation on the South District of the park and will be basing operation decisions on adherence to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website at www.nps.gov/bica and social media platforms.