Wednesday, August 29

The campground shutdown runaround

Did a Chronicle expose on potential campground closures on the Arapaho & Roosevelt national forests help scuttle the Forest Service's national review program for such shutdowns?

The Recreation Site Facility Master Planning process has been halted--in name only. The program is responsible for national forests across the country doing a major analysis of which campgrounds, trailheads and picnic areas are most popular, environmentally sensitive and financially profitable. Forest managers are then supposed to recommend new fees and closures based on the results, which is leading to some serious access cuts and more RV-centric forest recreation sites.

The Forest Service has been pumping the brakes on the program for a little while because of the public outcry. Now the agency has supposedly dropped the process and replaced it with Recreation Facility Analysis, which literally has the same logo, except the free-market fanatics running things in D.C. had the good sense to replace "$ustainability" with "Sustainability" (see logos, at right).

Thi$ all $mell$ like $ome ripe hor$e apple$ on the trail, eh, camper$?

According to recreation-fee rabble rouser Scott Silver of Wild Wilderness, there aren't any real program differences either, so pissed-off citizens shouldn't let their guard down.

More info about the possible cuts on the Arapaho & Roosevelt, which should be unveiled around the beginning of September, are available in the August 9 Chronicle story, "The forest for the fees."

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