More 21st Century Problems

Following up on last weekend’s post.. on 21st Century Problems. Here’s two from this weekend’s news.

Are campgrounds for the public or for making a profit? By Pete Zimowsky here.

And Illegal pot grows damaging forest land by Tiffany Revelle here.

Why are topics like climate change and ecological restoration more likely to garner funding than the fundamentals of providing campgrounds and keeping federal land safe for the public and not a trashbin for criminals?

5 thoughts on “More 21st Century Problems”

  1. Pete Zimowsky’s “Are Campgrounds for the Public or for Making a Profit” asks “Are budget cuts going to force the Forest Service to eventually get out of the campground and recreation business at the expense of the public?”

    His premise is simply wrong. Since 1998 (the earliest year for which on-line appropriations data are readily available), the Forest Service’s budget has enjoyed an average annual increase of 7%. The agency’s fire program has been the biggest beneficiary, increasing at an annual rate of 21% in that period. But even setting aside fire spending, the National Forest Systems budget has grown at a 1.25% annual rate.

    The explanation(s) for a private concession-driven recreation policy on public lands must be found elsewhere than in the budget.

  2. Sharon,

    Congress does not appropriate by resource line item. The appropriations bills contain lump sums for NFS, Wildland Fire, S&PF, Research, and Capital Improvement. Whatever allocations occur thereafter reflect the FS’s own decisions, not congressional mandates.

    From 2002 to 2010, the recreation/heritage/wilderness budget increased at a 2% annual average rate.

  3. Interesting…thanks, Andy! You know in many places, recreation is the main event on NFS land. Many of the stakeholders involved in the new planning rule were looking for some acknowledgment of this. I wonder what about the way things work in the FS would change if we said “recreation is what we are fundamentally about?”

  4. Fire “management” will win that battle against recreation, as when campgrounds and recreational sites get burned over, they often don’t get rebuilt. The Obama Administration has tipped its hand, believing that there is no such thing as a catastrophic wildfire, that wildfires are “natural and beneficial”, that there is no forest emergency and that they can handle any problem that comes up. Excuse me if I don’t believe a word of that!


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