Published: 5/23/2020 9:09:09 PM

Modified: 5/23/2020 9:09:47 PM

Nonprofit urges safety with swimming holes

A Vermont nonprofit that holds easements on property along the state’s rivers is urging those who use public swimming holes to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this summer.

The Montpelier-based Vermont River Conservancy issued a news release on Friday asking that people avoid public swimming holes if they are sick, stay 6 feet away from each other, avoid crowds, leash dogs, bring masks to wear while on the trail and “don’t linger too long.”

“These are places to enjoy the peace that a river can provide, to cool off on a hot day, and to recharge your mental well-being during these unsettling times,” Steve Libby, VRC’s executive director, said in the release. “VRC protects swimming holes for public enjoyment, but we rely strongly on the respectful behavior of visitors to ensure these sites can remain open during the pandemic, and are cared for and maintained for years to come.”

The conservancy holds easements on more than a dozen swimming holes, gorges and waterfalls around the state, including Pinch Rock River Access in South Royalton. It also holds easements on riverfront land valuable for other purposes such as fishing, boating access, flood resiliency and wildlife preservation.

Sununu seeks extension for National Guard

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday asked President Donald Trump to extend the active status of nearly half of the 1,000 members of the New Hampshire National Guard currently assisting with the COVID-19 response.

In a letter sent Friday, Sununu asked the president to extend the active status of up to 450 Guard members through Sept. 30. Their status is otherwise set to expire on June 24.

“An extension will enable New Hampshire to continue to take aggressive action to maintain screening and testing sites, stage and distribute sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical medical supplies, support food bank operations and position the state to transition to a regional reopening of the economy,” Sununu wrote.

—Staff reports

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