Friday, November 04, 2016

Forest Service concerned with crowds, damage in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

The secret is out. Many Colorado wilderness areas are experiencing record crowds, and forest rangers are concerned with the damage left behind. One of the most unspoiled spots in the state is the Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. However, overnight visitation to the area has increased 115 percent since 2007. And forest rangers say that those visitors are becoming increasingly less respectful to their surroundings. “We have been monitoring and collecting visitor use data in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness for many years,” stated Kay Hopkins, recreation planner for the White River National Forest, in a news release. “Every year visitation is record setting and every year we are seeing more resource damage and in general a lack of ethical behavior from visitors.” The crowds have prompted a need for a management plan, the Forest Service announced Thursday, and they are asking the public for help. The Forest Service says that the impacts from increased overnight visitation effect the landscape, the visitor experience and land managers’ ability to effectively keep up with the use. Rangers are seeing increased trash, tree cutting/fire scars, human waste and proliferation...more

No comments: