The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin its phased reopening plan on Saturday.
Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt met with maintenance crews, law enforcement, and park superintendents at Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
He participated in multiple site inspections this week in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia to support local efforts to safely increase access.
While an overwhelming majority of the 500 million acres of public lands managed by the Department of the Interior (Department) has remained accessible to the public throughout the pandemic, some public sites were closed as a result of following state and local public health directives.
President Trump has issued guidelines for Opening Up America Again, and the Department is working with the nation’s governors to restore access to America’s public lands that were closed.