Vail Daily letter: Open up our lands
July 16, 2014
I recently read the letters "Access denied" and "A bad idea" in the Monday Vail Daily.
Unfortunately, these two letters hit the nail squarely on the head. Our government, primarily the Forest Service, seems to have a well established program to shut us out of our public land. The more land they restrict access to just overcrowds the remaining land. There does not seem to be a reasonable justification for many of the road closures, and the "Travel Management Plan" is not a reasonable justification. As an example, why has Mill Creek Road from the east end of the Vail Ski Area been closed?
When you call or write the Forest Service, you get a poor excuse if you get one at all. I and many of my friends are senior citizens and some motorized access is necessary to be able to continue to pursue our lifelong hunting heritage. This also applies to handicapped citizens. With so many roads closed, we are limited to small overcrowded portions of the national forest. There needs to be a re-evaluation of the current policy and a more user-friendly approach to our public lands.
In some cases, temporary closures may be justified, but these permanent closures, in my opinion, should be unlawful. It is public land so why are we shut out? This is especially a problem during big game hunting season.
It is time the citizens are given back access to our public land.