Viewpoint: Writer concerned about forest access
Help us open our public forest back to the public. More and more roads, trails, and logging roads are now gated, blocked with earth berms, large boulders, or have tree stumps placed in them to block vehicle access. What has happened to allowing the public to use and enjoy its public forest? Why has Forest Service continued its policy of closing off more and more areas? Every year it gets worse as they close more roads.
We went looking for blueberries and raspberries and the areas we usually find them we can no longer get to. More and more roads are being closed by Forest Service. When will it end- when all roads are off limits to travel? We went through RARE I and RARE II – the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation – twice. Are we in the midst of RARE III or IV?
We’re senior citizens and can’t hike the many miles to get to our favorite berry picking locations anymore. I’m sure hunters during the fall hunting seasons are finding the same thing. Small bog lakes we liked to visit we no longer can. Remote stretches of trout streams we enjoyed are no longer available. Why can’t we use our forest?
When I hear that Forest Service information officer Ms. Flory request public help in locating illegal growing operations I want to gag. By gating and closing more and more areas, Forest Service is encouraging illegal grow operations where the public is shut out. They are creating more opportunity areas for illegal grows.
Shame on you Forest Service; you’ve forgotten who you work for. Forest Service needs to reverse these closures; open the areas again, get rid of the gates, get rid of the earth berms, and let the public back onto our public forest.
Ken Anderson, Eagle River