March 17, 2020

Congressman Joe Neguse Urges DOI to Adjust Operating Procedures for National Parks to Follow CDC Guidance

Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, urging immediate action to ensure that the operating procedures for national parks and public lands follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to prioritize the health of federal employees and the public. Additionally, Neguse’s letter requests that the Department of Interior grant local and regional land managers the necessary authority to respond to the unique challenges they face in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

 “Spending time outdoors has the potential to be a safe and healthy outlet for individuals during this public health crisis,” said Congressman Neguse. “However, in popular places like Rocky Mountain National Park, areas such as visitor’s centers and shuttle buses can easily contravene CDC guidance for social distancing. We must balance the health benefits of spending time outdoors with any health risks of crowded park activities. In the absence of systematic guidance from the National Park Service related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that park superintendents have the ability to adjust or close any services or activities that promote the spread of the virus.”

Read the letter here.