Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has joined the Recreate Responsibly Coalition. This national coalition is a working group made up of land managers, nonprofits and outdoor businesses developing and sharing best practices to promote common sense guidance about getting outside during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FWP’s participation in the coalition coincides with the launch of Montana Aware, the state’s safe travel initiative being led by the Montana Department of Commerce in partnership with 17 Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions. The campaign promotes safe and responsible behavior among those traveling in the state. The two efforts focus on educating travelers and recreationists on the best way to safely enjoy Montana and help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are all finding respite and rejuvenation outdoors this summer, but some of our most treasured spots are seeing an unprecedented amount of use,” said Martha Williams, director Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “This high level of use can impact resources, experiences, and neighbors’ tolerance. Recreating responsibly means being able to ensure we protect these treasures, opportunities, and relationships for others to enjoy as well. The outside is in us all and we want to keep it that way.”
The Recreate Responsibly Coalition guidelines are:
- Know Before You Go—Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a backup plan.
- Plan Ahead—Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
- Explore Locally—Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
- Practice Physical Distancing—Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
- Play It Safe—Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
- Leave No Trace—Respect public lands and waters, native and local communities, and private property. Take all your garbage with you.
- Build an Inclusive Outdoors—Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
Messaging for Recreate Responsibly and Montana Aware will be delivered to audiences in-state and out-of-state through a variety of mediums including social media.