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Following the governor’s announcement regarding a continued relaxation of COVID-19 health restrictions May 28, authorities with the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department confirmed nine additional state park facilities would be open for day-use activities Saturday, May 30. The formal press release also stated five other park facilities would once again be open for day-use patrons beginning Monday, June 1. 

For Sierra County residents, the key facility included was Elephant Butte Lake State Park (EBLSP), which is among the latter five parks listed and which is now cleared to reopen for day-use only visitors on June 1. County residents will further note that Percha Dam State Park was among those cited to reopen on May 30 and will now joining its sister facility, Caballo Lake State Park, which has been welcoming guests for several weeks. 

Joining state facilities already open on Saturday, May 30 will be: El Vado Lake, Leasburg Dam,  Percha Dam, Heron Lake, Eagle Nest Lake, Santa Rosa Lake, Bottomless Lakes and Sugarite Canyon State Park. 

Beginning Monday, June 1, Hyde Memorial, Rio Grande Nature Center, Navajo Lake, Elephant Butte Lake and Pecos Canyon State Park will open their gates.

Before visiting any of the available state park facilities, authorities suggest citizens should first verify if facilities are actually open and specific hours of operation. Also to be verified would be visitor capacity guidelines, social distancing information, group size restrictions, available facilities, park visitor etiquette and useful supplies (for personal cleaning and sanitation). 

To comply with present COVID-19 health restrictions, the May 28 press release stated park authorities would be “on hand to model safe practices, such as wearing masks and gloves.” Staff will also “educate the public about staying in groups of five or less, practicing social distance, and the proper use of PPE.”

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