Boating, state park and wildlife safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

DENVER – As people gear up for an outdoor adventure this holiday weekend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wants to share a few expert outdoor tips on responsible recreation to help avoid a search and rescue scenario.

Coloradans and the outdoor community play an integral role in keeping our landscapes healthy, living in harmony with wildlife and making the outdoors inclusive and welcoming to all.

Know Before You Go
Be aware of weather conditions, water temperatures and trail closures where you plan to visit. In Colorado, even late spring can bring snowstorms, strong winds and extremely cold water temperatures.

  • Camping reservations are required at Colorado state parks.
  • On a holiday weekend, expect lines and potential gate closures. Use the CPW Park Finder Tool to discover outdoor activities at each state park and to learn about park or trail closures.
  • Change your outdoor adventure based on the weather forecast. If the area you want to explore has bad weather, help yourself and our outdoor first responders by changing your outdoor plan to avoid hazardous conditions.
  • Download the COTREX app to find a list of outdoor opportunities in surrounding areas if your desired trailhead is crowded or closed.

Life Jackets Save Lives
As boat ramps open and warmer temperatures entice people to recreate on the water, CPW urges the public to wear life jackets while enjoying water sports like power boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and fishing.

Last year was the deadliest year on Colorado waters, and the majority of fatalities occurred from people swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking while not wearing a life jacket. In honor of National Safe Boating Week, CPW is promoting safe boating tips to educate outdoor enthusiasts on how to take caution on Colorado waters.

Keep Wildlife Wild
Spring can be a particularly sensitive time for wildlife since many species are nesting, having their young or coming out of hibernation.

Be Careful with Fire
Colorado’s low humidity has perks but can create dry, dangerous conditions. Keep campfires small and manageable to avoid sparking wildfires.

  • Use the website www.coemergency.com to find up-to-date information on county fire restrictions and bans.
  • When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers.
  • Never let a fire burn unattended or put hot coals in a dumpster.
  • Buying locally-sourced firewood can help prevent invasive critters from crossing state lines.

For more information about Colorado state parks, visit https://cpw.state.co.us/.

Join us in keeping Colorado, Colorado. Read more about the Keep Colorado Wild Pass and how it benefits Colorado’s wildlife and the great outdoors at: cpw.info/keepcoloradowild and cpw.info/keepcoloradowildpassspanish.

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