cftbq wrote:The FS "doesn't have the resources" because they don't want to have the resources, because their priorities are elsewhere. They spend all their lobbying clout (like all government agencies) pushing to expand their own bureaucratic empire, and creating more opportunities for themselves to charge fees to the general public. Not only have they done nothing to improve the public's access to places like (just for instance) James Peak for many years, they are, in fact, actively engaged in trying to diminish such access in literally hundreds of places throughout the mountains. Don't let them off the hook with that tired old "we don't have enough money" excuse!
Almost every statement in this post is either incorrect within the context or incorrect all together. I am not saying that corruption is not present within this agency, because, at some level, I am sure it is, however, I know or have known countless individuals who work for the Forest Service who work very demanding jobs, long hours for a relatively little money. Managing the land properly and effectively at the scale that the Forest Service does requires a high amount of specialized training and monetary support. I would think that if you enjoy and respect these natural areas as important and unique natural resources, paying a relatively small park fee wouldn't really be an issue. To say that this agency is "creating more opportunities for themselves to charge fees to the general public" is ridiculous. The reason that more fees are being charged is because more people then ever are utilizing these resources, furthermore, we are at a time when new management plans need to be developed for many of these areas. Conducting this field work, completing the research and compiling the reports take both time and money.
Historically, forests in Colorado experience at least one large scale disturbance every century, and in certain forest types, these disturbances should occur around every ten or so years in order to maintain the health of the stand and insure proper stocking. However, due to the large human presence that now inhabits the Front Range (areas that should experience disturbance much more frequently than they currently do), management plans must altered to reflect this new anthropogenic factor. Furthermore, the reason that access is being limited to some areas is to restore ecologically sensitive areas to a proper state, as to reduce future site costs. Please respect these signs and try to remember that managing forests is a science with a very long temporal scale. You many not see the results in your lifetime, but please try and see the big picture.