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Is your New Year's resolution to be more active? Local organizations encourage you to get outside!

Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 16:05:12-05

If you're already thinking about New Year's resolutions, a pretty common one is getting more active--and local organizations like the Idaho Department of Parks and Rec and the Bureau of Land Management are hoping Idahoans will choose to get outside to complete that goal!

The Idaho Department of Parks and Rec's First Day Hikes event is an opportunity to start off those resolutions on the right foot. The event is virtual this year because of the pandemic, so you can hike, jog, or walk anywhere on January 1,2, or 3. Then, record your miles here.

“With cooler weather, it’s easy to forego that daily walk or weekend hike,” said Brian Beckley, IDPR Board Chairman. “But it’s important to stay active and spend time outdoors. With extended days, this year’s virtual hike makes the event even more accessible for all: hike, walk, or jog anywhere, anytime.”

Last year, more than 580 recorded miles were hiked throughout the state and nearly 177,000 miles nationwide, all on a single day. IDPR would love to see Idaho’s mileage double with the virtual event reaching 1,000 hiked miles.

“Your Idaho state parks have hundreds of miles of trails to explore. From sandy dunes to snow-capped mountains, there is a trail for every recreational interest!” said Susan Buxton, IDPR Interim Director.

If you're headed out to explore, whether by foot, bike, or off-road vehicle, don't forget to double-check you're following the rules!

Last week, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Twin Falls District Law Enforcement Officers responded to a report of a stuck and abandoned vehicle in the Dry Gulch area near Indian Springs. The vehicle became stuck when the driver illegally drove up and slid off the edge of the single-track Dry Gulch Trail, which is not designated for 4-wheel use, damaging the trail and the surrounding resources along the way.

“Occurrences like this are becoming increasingly common, and the land and resources suffer as a result,” said Burley Field Office Manager Ken Crane, “The BLM provides opportunities for many kinds of recreation in areas that are designated for those uses. We want to encourage public land users to recreate responsibly by respecting all laws and regulations.”

The BLM says it designates trails and roads for specific uses to best protect the resources, provide for multiple uses, and to ensure the safety of land users.

“Our goal is to support the BLM’s multiple-use mission through education and enforcement,” said Law Enforcement Ranger Mike Billo. “We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy their public lands, but to do it responsibly and lawfully. Driving off-road where prohibited, damaging wildlife habitat and vegetation and littering are all unlawful and have consequences.”

The BLM Twin Falls District manages over 3.9 million acres of public land in south-central Idaho and says they cannot patrol them all at once. You can help keep your public lands beautiful and safe for all users by reporting any violations to BLM Twin Falls Law Enforcement at (208) 735-4600.