To the editor:

With more of us staying closer to home for our vacations this year, The Nature Conservancy’s Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve has been especially busy. 

Here in Park County, we are fortunate to have a truly special place to enjoy nature – one many folks think of as their own backyard. For the most ambitious, there is the challenging trail to the top of the mountain. For others, the pace may be slower, taking in the aroma of the sage and the splash of color from the wildflowers. 

With the concerns raised by the COVID-19 virus, we took a series of precautions to safeguard public health at the preserve. This has meant closing the interpretive cabin and restroom. Unfortunately, that latter action created its own problems with visitors not taking care with soiled toilet paper. 

To help reduce this problem, we have installed some portable toilets, but we are still asking our visitors to observe safety practices such as maintaining social distance between your group and other parties, minimizing contact with high-touch surfaces and staying home if you are feeling unwell. As always, be prepared for bears and remember, no dogs are allowed in the preserve.

As a privately owned preserve, we welcome to public to visit and want to do everything possible to ensure everyone a safe and enjoyable experience. That means we must all look out for each other to ensure a clean and healthy environment for both people and nature. 

We look forward to seeing you this summer.

(s) Brian peters

Manager, TNC’s Heart

Mountain Ranch Preserve

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