Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Forest Service Reverses Itself and Suddenly Closes Hundreds of Private Concession-Run Campgrounds
In an unprecedented order, and reversing a decision made early last week, the US Forest Service has ordered all private, concession-run recreation areas on Forest Service lands to close for the duration of the Federal government shutdown. This means that many of the most popular recreation areas and camping destinations in Arizona will close until further notice, despite the fact that these sites are not operated with Federal funds or employees. Private concession operators run hundreds of recreation areas within the National Forests, including the majority of the largest and most popular sites. These privately-run concessions typically are funded solely via the user fees paid at the gate, which go to paying for the employees, utilities, trash collection, maintenance, and even insurance on the site. These privately-operated parks do not require any federal funding, and in fact these concessions pay millions of dollars into the Treasury each year in the form of concession fees. "We were certainly taken by surprise by this closure order," said Warren Meyer, CEO of Recreation Resource Management. "In all past government shutdowns, such as those in the mid-1990's, concession recreation operations have always remained open. This only makes sense, since our operations don't use any government funds or employees. While we do partner with the US Forest Service on certain activities, none of these are critical to day-to-day operations. We are convinced this closure is an unjustified and unnecessarily punitive action that hurts the recreating public while doing nothing to reduce government spending."...more