COVID-19 Limits Public Land Access for Horseback Riding
Public lands are managed by several local, state, and federal agencies, meaning rules and closures might vary, even within the same area.
“In Washington state, Governor Inslee issued the ‘Stay Home – Stay Healthy’ proclamation (in response to COVID-19), which ordered all citizens to stay home,” explained Joan Burlingame, of Ravensdale, Washington, an avid equestrian and backcountry rider. “It included authorization for essential activities within certain boundaries,” which allowed for activities such as exercising, including horseback riding.
“People in Washington state began flocking to state lands, basically taking the governor’s order as (an opportunity for) a mini vacation,” said Burlingame. “Trailheads, parking lots, and the trails near the parking lots were so crowded there was no way that people could maintain 6 feet distancing from each
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