Supernatural creatures are getting their own protected areas, and some are even going to live in a restaurant.
The Arizona Department of Natural Resources says it is opening up more than a dozen protected areas across the state in an effort to create a “trending natural phenomenon” that will benefit wildlife and natural habitats.
The area designation, which covers more than 1.3 million acres, is designed to encourage people to stay away from areas where they know they may encounter wild animals.
The area designation is one of many changes Arizona is making to its state parks system to promote the development of natural areas and preserve the state’s wildlife.
“It’s going to make us more resilient to climate change, because we can’t just sit and wait for the weather to change,” Arizona Department Director of State Parks Mike Bocanegra said.
The agency says the changes, which include a ban on fireworks in the state parks, will benefit endangered wildlife, the environment, the economy and recreation.
There are now two designated natural areas in Arizona, one in the San Marcos National Forest and another in the Tonto National Forest.
Arizona State Parks and the state wildlife agency are working on another.
Bocanegel said he expects the changes will help Arizona retain its status as one of the top three states for wildlife.