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Army Corps of Engineers begins gradual reopening of recreation areas closed due to Coronavirus

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published May 22, 2020
Updated: May 22, 2020
Isa Lake located in Yellowstone National Park straddles the continental divide at Craig Pass and was first discovered in 1891 by Lt. Hiram M. Chittenden of the US Army Corps of Engineers while he was exploring routes for a road to connect Old Faithful and the West Thumb Geyser Basin. In times of high water, Isa Lake has two outlets. The waters on the west side of the lake flow east to the Firehole River then westward into the Gulf of Mexico and the waters on the east side flow west to the Lewis River then eastward into the Pacific Ocean. If you trace the Columbia River to its source, you will find one of its tributaries, the Snake River, in Yellowstone National Park. The park is also the source for the Madison River which flows into the Missouri River upstream of Fort Peck Lake and the Yellowstone River which flows into the Missouri River upstream of Lake Sakakawea.

Isa Lake located in Yellowstone National Park straddles the continental divide at Craig Pass and was first discovered in 1891 by Lt. Hiram M. Chittenden of the US Army Corps of Engineers while he was exploring routes for a road to connect Old Faithful and the West Thumb Geyser Basin. In times of high water, Isa Lake has two outlets. The waters on the west side of the lake flow east to the Firehole River then westward into the Gulf of Mexico and the waters on the east side flow west to the Lewis River then eastward into the Pacific Ocean. If you trace the Columbia River to its source, you will find one of its tributaries, the Snake River, in Yellowstone National Park. The park is also the source for the Madison River which flows into the Missouri River upstream of Fort Peck Lake and the Yellowstone River which flows into the Missouri River upstream of Lake Sakakawea.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that it has begun the gradual reopening of some USACE-managed recreation areas that were closed to protect against the further spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The health and safety of USACE personnel, contractors, volunteers and the visiting public remain our highest priority.

Reopening of closed recreation areas will vary from location to location based on state and local conditions, as well as each project’s ability to put in place COVID-19 safety precautions.

Visitors are encouraged to contact USACE lake and river projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open. The status of USACE-managed campgrounds, boat ramps and swimming beaches and other sites is available at https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/status.cfm.

USACE has suspended the collection of day use fees for USACE-managed swimming beaches and boat ramps until Oct. 1, 2020. USACE is also extending the expiration date of USACE and America the Beautiful annual passes for seven months for those who previously purchased annual passes for the year.

Individuals with paid camping reservations at closed campgrounds will be contacted by email about cancellations and full refunds will automatically be processed by Recreation.gov with no cancellation fees. Individuals should not contact Recreation.gov to request a refund as that will lead to a cancellation fee being charged.

While visiting USACE recreation areas, visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and other COVID-19 safety precautions required and recommended by local, state and federal authorities, to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC guidance on visiting parks and recreation facilities can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html.

Visitors are advised that individual USACE recreation areas may be closed again if it is determined that COVID-19 safety precautions are not being followed and the public could be put at risk as a result. Please help us keep the recreation sites open by recreating responsibly and please wear your life jacket.


Contact
Gene Pawlik
202-761-7690
Eugene.A.Pawlik@usace.army.mil
or
Doug Garman
202-761-1807
doug.m.garman@usace.army.mil

Release no. 20-059