Updated: May 22, 2020 06:15 PM
Created: May 22, 2020 05:39 PM
ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M.- One of New Mexico's most popular attractions for Memorial Day is still shut down.
Elephant Butte will not open for the Memorial Day weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Memorial Day kind of starts the icing on the cake,” said Edna Trager, Mayor of the town of Elephant Butte. “We all survive from people coming in from other areas.”
Patrols will be out to make sure people don't try use the lake.
“There are rule provisions that state parks are currently enforcing for unauthorized use of state property,” said Glenn Hamilton, sheriff of Sierra County.
Hamilton said they will be working closely with state parks officials on enforcement, and to help monitor the nearby Lake Caballo, which is open.
“We want it done safely,” said Hamilton. “So again, we know with Elephant Butte Lake closed down. We’re going to continue to help the parks out there. Just don’t force the issue is really what we’re asking.”
State parks officials say even though the lake is closed, state park staff is still there.
State Parks Public Relations Coordinator Christina Cordova sent KOB 4 the following statement:
“As with all currently closed parks, Elephant Butte Lake State Park staff remains at the park to protect park resources and complete critical park projects. Law enforcement staff will be utilized from other state parks and local authorities have also increased their personnel resources to patrol the Sierra County area this holiday weekend. Signs and gates are posted to identify closed areas.
Nearby Caballo Lake is open and alterations to the boat ramp parking lot have been made to accommodate more boaters this weekend. Seasonal staff have also been hired to ensure visitors have a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.
We encourage everyone to recreate safely this holiday weekend.”
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