Here’s a great description of some of the 21st century challenges facing federal forest land management. An interesting quote:
According to a survey, a large number of visitors also included low-income, low-education, often minority visitors looking for a free swimming hole and an escape from the Valley’s swelter. The Forest Service consultant said few of these visitors have attended the hearings on use of the creek.
Also in this piece is a quote
Fossil Creek: first lay the foundation
Let’s say you want to build the most beautiful house in the world. You’ve got a great piece of land, with a killer view. You’ve got a design. And you’ve got a bunch of relatives who want to spend the night. Quick: Let’s build it. No time for nagging details — like pouring the foundation. Just nail together the walls.
Hopefully, that’s not the approach the Forest Service will take to protecting Fossil Creek, a national treasure. About 50 people from this community showed up at a long hearing in Payson to offer suggestions, as the Forest Service weighs the future of that resurrected creek.
There was a wide range of heartfelt ideas — from shutting down the road to building campgrounds and an interpretative center. So how do you decide? How do you deal with the often-conflicting needs of the people who want to visit the creek? How do you tell the difference between the foundation and a picture window?
We think the Forest Service should bolt its plan for Fossil Creek to the foundation of a healthy, diverse ecosystem, which can serve as a refuge for a host of endangered and threatened species.
Fossil Creek has the makings of a national park or a wildlife refuge. The gush of water tinted blue green with dissolved limestone has created a string of pools and natural dams just two hours from the fifth largest city in the country.
I wonder why it is that people feel beautiful areas should become national parks or wildlife refuges. What is it that they know how to do that the Forest Service doesn’t know how to do? What are those preferred management actions that make it OK to charge if it is managed by the National Park Service but not the Forest Service? All public lands BLM, FS, FWS and Park Service will be confronting the same challenges if they are close to growing communities. Should the Feds attempt to harmonize how we deal with those issues?