Friday, April 24, 2020

Updates on Recreate Responsibly Idaho campaign, boating safety and fishing ideas

Hi all,

I've been working together with a consortium of state and federal agency officials who are spreading the word about Gov. Little's Recreate Responsibly Campaign. So I'm sharing some updates and tips for folks heading outdoors this weekend.

No. 1 continues to be if you're feeling sick, feeling cold or flu symptoms come on, stay home! Don't go out and potentially spread your germs to others.

Idahoans are doing a good job with the shelter-at-home strategy, we've had 1,836 confirmed cases overall statewide, 34 new cases yesterday, 822 recovered, and 54 deaths. See the overall effort to flatten the curve, the graph from the Idaho coronavirus page below.

 Source: Idaho Coronavirus web site:

People are flocking to Idaho outdoor venues in big numbers at popular areas, so please practice proper social distancing no matter where you go. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. You may want to wear a mask in congested areas.

Idaho State Parks are very busy in places. See article on this topic from Jerry Painter with the Post-Register in Idaho Falls. Park rangers had to close Bruneau Dunes State Park for about an hour last Saturday when the parking areas got too full. Eagle Island and Lucky Peak state parks have been very busy, too. Three Mile Island State Park in Glenns Ferry might be a possibility or Thousand Springs State Park near Hagerman.

Check before you go. You might call ahead or check online about whether parks are too crowded before you go there.

If a trailhead or destination seems overly crowded, try going somewhere else. 

Fishing is open. See article by Roger Phillips of Idaho Fish and Game about fishing in Idaho. Idaho Fish and Game has a great list of family fishing waters. See link to find a place to fishing close to home. Thank small ponds, reservoirs, the Boise River and other locations. A lot of those spots are stocked with rainbow trout.

Courtesy IDFG
Practice safe boating techniques if you go out power boating. Here's a video on boating safety. Go in small groups.

See Recreate Responsibly web site for more information on what's open and closed.

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Bring stuff with you for a day trip, food and water, etc., and pack out your garbage. 
  • Pack your own TP. You might need it. 
  • Hike from home if you can. 
  • Do bike rides from home. 
  • Road biking is great for social distancing. 
  • Avoid hazardous activities right now. EMS services are busy handing the virus. 
  • Boise Foothills trails are being heavily used right now. Try lesser-used trailheads. I'm seeing some people walking or running on 8th Street or Rocky Canyon Road to avoid congestion. 
Remember that there's sheep on the trails in the Boise Foothills. The sheep are moving east through the foothills right now. A new group of sheep will cross Idaho 55 this morning (4/24) at the Beacon Light interchange at about 9:30 a.m. If you go watch, please practice safe social distancing.

Leash dogs when you encounter sheep and walk your bike through the sheep so as not to antagonize the guard dogs. 

We all have to do our part! Thanks for your patience. We will get through this!

- SS

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