HELENA, Mont. (Independent Record) — Montana state parks and fishing access sites have experienced a major increase in visitation as residents spend time outdoors amid health restrictions related to the coronavirus. The Independent Record reported estimated visitation at state parks climbed by more than 60% compared to this time in previous years. Managers estimate there were nearly 152,000 visitors at state parks in March and April this year, compared to about 95,000 in 2019 and 2018. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has issued a stay-at-home order, which includes an exemption for outdoor recreation but also encourages those going outside to stay close to home.

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