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State wildlife officials encouraging outdoor safety ahead of Labor Day weekend

‘Know before you go’ tips for safe outdoor recreation
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:21 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -Ahead of the last summer holiday weekend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials is urging everyone to plan ahead and be safe as parks, lakes and hiking trails are expected to be very busy.

CPW says to know before you go. Officials say to expect lines and potential gate closures if parking lots are full. Peak times are typically 9 a.m. through 3 p.m.

If you’re headed to the lakes and reservoirs, make sure you have life jackets and check all of your equipment. Check weather and water conditions as water is often colder this time of year. CPW is also warning boaters against boating under the influence, saying boating under the influence is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents.

Boat inspections are also required before launching in Colorado waters to help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.

If you plan to camp over the weekend, the CPW says to check for fire restrictions or closures before you go. Keep campfires small and manageable to help avoid sparking wildfires. Never leave your campfire unattended and water the fire down until you can physically handle the coals.

Keep wildlife wild. The CPW says bears are in hyperphagia this time of year and will spend up to 20 hours a day eating as they pack on calories for the winter. Bear sightings are much more common this year, even in urban areas. Try to keep your campsite bear proof. The CPW says to be mindful of wildlife and keep your distance. If you have a dog, keep them leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails and pack out waste all the way to a proper trash can.

For more information about keeping your campsite bear-proof, visit: https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeCampingBearCountry.aspx

For more information about fire restrictions visit: www.coemergency.com

For more information about outdoor activities at Colorado state parks visit: cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo

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