‘ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE’ WOULD ENDANGER CITIZENS IN GUSTAVUS
A campground in Bartlett Cove, which serves as a jumping off point for kayakers and explorers of Glacier Bay, has been closed by National Park Service officials.
The decision was made to prevent COVID-19 coronavirus from being spread to the community of Gustavus from Juneau, the town where most visitors travel through on their way to Gustavus, Bartlett Cove, and Glacier Bay. Juneau has had 14 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus.
Bartlett Cove is 10 miles from Gustavus and is the headquarters for the National Park Service operations in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. In addition to the campground, there is a lodge run a concessionaire of the Park Service, which normally opens for the summer season, but is currently closed. The area is accessed by boat, or the road to Gustavus, where there is an airstrip used by both commercial and private operators.
“Per State of Alaska Health Mandate 12 that went into effect in late March, travel is prohibited between communities in Alaska except to support critical infrastructure or critical personal needs. The state and City of Gustavus also call for mandatory self-quarantine by individuals entering the state, as well as the community of Gustavus,” according to the National Park Service.
“The dry campground has no handwashing facilities and limited staffing does not allow for routine cleaning of facilities multiple times per day. The park has no control over group composition or origin, or group numbers in tents or sites, and therefore cannot enforce social distancing practices recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and mandated by the state.
“If the campground remains open it is an attractive nuisance inviting Alaskans and visitors to travel from their communities to the park and congregate in campgrounds in violation of state mandates,” the Park Service wrote. The closure is effective for 60 days from April 6, 2020.
Earlier this month, the Park Service closed down access to the National Park, and limited use of the dock at Bartlett Cove.
BROOKS CAMP ACCESS LIMITED
The National Park Service has also modified access to Brooks Camp at Katmai National Park. Through July 1, no services outside those that support visitor or resource protection will be available.
The Brooks Camp Developed Area is closed and operations are suspended, including the campground and on-site visitor information and public programs.
Outdoor spaces outside of the Brooks Camp Developed Area remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance. Law Enforcement and first responder services remain accessible.