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Recreate Responsibly Spring Safety Tips

CPW Reminds Public to Recreate Responsibly Outdoors: Spring Safety Tips

As the snow melts and spring breathes life into Colorado’s scenic landscapes, both locals and tourists are eager to explore the outdoors. However, the changing season brings its own set of challenges, from unpredictable weather to delicate natural environments. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has issued guidelines to help outdoor enthusiasts navigate the spring safely while conserving the state’s natural beauty.

Prepare for Weather and Terrain

Colorado’s spring can be fickle, featuring everything from sudden snowfalls to rapid melting that affects trail conditions and water safety. CPW advises all adventurers to check the weather forecast and avalanche risks at Colorado Avalanche Information Center before heading out. Wearing layers and bringing sufficient water can make a day outdoors safer and more enjoyable.

Water Safety is Crucial

Last year, water-related activities in Colorado saw numerous fatalities, primarily due to the absence of life jackets. CPW stresses the importance of wearing life jackets when engaging in any boating or paddle sports. Additionally, conditions on rivers can change swiftly due to rain or melting snow, so checking river flows and avoiding solo trips are essential for safety.

Trail Etiquette and Conservation

With trails becoming muddy and slippery, sticking to the marked paths is vital to prevent erosion and protect plant life. CPW’s Joe O’Brien, State Trails Program Coordinator, emphasizes the importance of maintaining trails to avoid damaging the surrounding ecosystems. Tools like the CPW Park Finder and the COTREX app can help visitors stay updated on trail conditions and closures.

Respect Wildlife and Natural Resources

Spring is a critical time for wildlife, with many species nesting or emerging from hibernation. Disturbing these animals can have long-term negative impacts. CPW urges the public to observe wildlife from a distance, keep pets leashed, and never leave campfires unattended. Moreover, the ethos of ‘Leave it as you Find It’ encourages visitors to enjoy the beauty of Colorado without altering it.

Engagement and Education

CPW encourages all park visitors to contribute to conservation efforts by adhering to these guidelines and supporting initiatives like the Keep Colorado Wild Pass. This program helps fund wildlife conservation and outdoor education, ensuring that Colorado’s parks and wildlife can be enjoyed for generations to come.

As the outdoor season kicks into full gear, CPW’s guidelines serve as a reminder that enjoying nature responsibly is crucial to preserving the state’s natural wonders.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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