Outdoor Recreation Boom of 2020 May Lead to More Reservations in the Future

"Perhaps 2020 was an anomaly, some think. Amid the pandemic, with bars and restaurants and theaters and other city diversions unavailable, and with many Coloradans out of work, the mountains became the ultimate recourse. That much is clear." -Seth Boster, Colorado Springs Gazette

Boster, S. (2021, January 6). As toll of 2020 is taken in Colorado outdoors, what does it mean for years ahead?. The Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved From

Often people refer to our public lands as being "Loved to Death", that was especially the case in 2020. In Colorado, 2020 was a record year for public lands visitation and participation in outdoor recreation. Many outdoor spaces recorded double and even triple the amount of visitors as years past. The mountains became a sort of recourse for people away from the ongoing pandemic and something to do while bars, restaurants, sporting venues, concerts, and movies theaters were shuttered. This surge in visitation took its toll on our public lands with overcrowding, resource damage, and general misunderstanding of how to treat these coveted places. This led to many areas implementing new management and reservation strategies to try and protect the area resources. Some believe that 2020 was an anomaly and that things would return to normal as the pandemic winds down, but others see this as omen for the future. Many public lands agencies are considering implementing these reservation strategies into the future to help stay ahead of the popularity curve. Of course more visitation and love for public lands is an overall positive change, but there will need to be more regulations and education geared to preserving these places for future generations.