Dunleavy Proclaims June Great Outdoors Month in Alaska
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared June Great Outdoors Month in Alaska. In a proclamation signed today, Dunleavy said the designation offers an opportunity to “celebrate the importance of Alaska’s majestic mountains, pristine waters and vast landscapes as Alaskans enjoy the opportunities that abound and cherish the memorable experiences of being outdoors with family and friends.”
Usually, June sees a lot of volunteer activity as local trail lovers dig in to help build and maintain close-to-home trails. Covid-19 health mandates have curtailed such activities for now, but trail stewards around the state hope such volunteer trail days may resume later this summer.
Dunleavy acknowledged the role Alaskans play in taking care of the outdoors. ”Alaskans have demonstrated dedication to maintaining our wilderness spaces for future generations, using our natural resources in a responsible manner, and educating our youth on the amazing wonders that surround us,” Dunleavy wrote.
Interest in getting outdoors has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic. A "Special Report on North American Camping and Effects of Covid-19" found that 67 percent of leisure travelers say the pandemic has increased the importance they place on getting children spending time outdoors. Throughout the pandemic, Dunleavy and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink recognized the state’s natural beauty and that “being outside can be a good way to take care of your physical and mental health.”
Those getting outside should adhere to state and local health mandates and follow simple tips to recreate responsibly:
If you’re sick, stay home. It’s just a good rule of thumb. #DontBeASpreader
Know before you go. Some local, state and federal public lands may be understaffed or may have visitation restrictions. Check online before you visit.
Practice physical distancing. Provide more separation from others if you’re doing aerobic activities that make you breathe harder.
Play it safe. Choose lower-risk activities to avoid straining rescue and health resources.
Leave no trace. Maintenance and cleaning schedules have been disrupted by the pandemic. Respect public lands and gateway communities and plan to pack out your trash and toilet paper.
Alaska is a leader in outdoor recreation: tied with Montana to lead the country in outdoor participation; enjoys the seventh largest outdoor recreation economy in the United States; and outdoor recreation accounts for 4.2 percent of the Alaska's overall gross domestic product and $3.2 billion in consumer spending.
Click to download and view Gov. Dunleavy's Great Outdoors Month Proclamation.