Sep 16, 2020
Darin Westby, P.E., CPM
COVID 19 Impact on Wyoming State Parks

Darin Westby was appointed Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources by Gov. Matt Mead in August 2016.  As the name implies, this agency has two divisions – state parks and cultural resources.  The State Parks division manages all state parks, state historic sites, state archaeological sites, state recreation areas, state trails and the office of outdoor recreation.  The Cultural Resources division manages the State Museum, State Archives, State Historic Preservation Office, the State Archaeologist, the Wyoming Arts Council and the Cultural Trust Fund.

After noticing that state parks, historic sites and recreation areas were being flooded with people from larger population areas (a lot from the east coast) – not for recreating but to escape their home areas during the pandemic, all camping facilities were closed in March.  The agency then developed a plan to re-open camping sites, initially to Wyoming residents only but then to out-of-state visitors through a reservation system.  The agency also noted that with everyone homebound, it was more important than ever to provide online access to cultural resources, including the State Museum and State Archives.

Mr. Westby will discuss these and other impacts of COVID-19 on both the State Parks division and the Cultural Resources division.