Virus Outbreak National Parks Glacier

This Aug. 14, 2019, file photo shows a view of the iconic Wild Goose Island from Going-to-the-Sun Road on St. Mary Lake at sunrise in Glacier National Park. The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council on Thursday voted to close the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park for the rest of the tourist season after a recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Montana.

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has voted to close the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park for the rest of the tourist season after a recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Montana.

The council passed its ordinance Thursday “for the protection of the residents of the Blackfeet Reservation,” tribal officials posted on Facebook.

The decision, along with other coronavirus-related adaptations, will make for an unusual season in Glacier National Park, which saw just over 3 million visitors in 2019.

The scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road will not be open to vehicles to Logan Pass by July 4, park spokesperson Gina Kerzman told the Daily Inter Lake.

Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said that without the eastern entries and exits from the park, managers may have to develop a timed-entry system to spread out visitor use on Going-to-the-Sun Road. The two-lane mountain road has limited parking and restroom facilities.

Social distancing requirements have prevented operations of Glacier’s “Jammer” buses as well as the park’s shuttle bus service.

The Fish Creek campground opened Friday to those with reservations made through reservations.gov. Fish Creek and the St. Mary Campground, which likely won’t be available before July 9, are the only two of Glacier’s 12 developed campgrounds expected to operate this summer, Mow told the Missoulian.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Daily Inter Lake.

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