This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
People have been trying to get outdoors during this COVID-19 pandemic, and I don’t blame them. Without fresh air to breathe, clear sunlight, or mist on our eyelids, I don’t think we can remain sane. And we need a sane population. Especially now.
All over the country, beaches and parks are closed, warning tape is wrapped around playgrounds. People are trying to get out, but not finding any place to go to. Central Park remains open, and New York City has been asked by its mayor to close certain streets to vehicles so people can get out and walk. In the San Francisco Bay area, where shelter-in-place orders are in effect, residents are still being told that parks are open and to go enjoy them — with certain caveats: The restrooms aren’t open, and neither are the trashcans, and don’t hike in groups.
In the West, we’ve got plenty of space. But are we supposed to be using it? We’re hearing different messages. There’s been a pushback against recreating on public lands, mostly from gateway communities receiving visitors they don’t want, even as p... Read more