Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pike National Forest planning overpacks house

The Pike National Forest is going through the first revision of its management plan in 22 years. As part of that, forest supervisors are inviting the public to comment at a series of meetings throughout the region. The Colorado Springs regional meeting (inconveniently held in Black forest) had to turn away at least 50 vehicles, according to The Gazette, because the meeting had run out of room.
214 people attended.
Those turned away are expected to attend a meeting in the next few weeks. Maybe the Forest Service will even hold it in town.
It's easy to understand why so many want to be involved. Conservation groups want to make sure the forest is protected. Hikers and bikers want to make sure the trails are protected. And equestrians and (especially) motorized users want to make sure the aforementioned groups don't lock them out.
There also an intriguing little piece of land management cloak and dagger here.
The Pike National Forest includes thousands of acres on the south slope of Pikes Peak that have been controlled for almost a century by Colorado Springs Utilities. Citizens have tried and failed (and are trying again now) to open the area to hiking. Utilities has always said no. It is possible that citizens could make an end-run around Utilities and get the Forest Service to open up the land. Likely? Probably not, but who knows? A well-organized group might find the Forest Service easier to reason with than the city-owned utility.

1 comment:

bill_brown_cmc said...

Hmmm . . . I like the way your mind works (re: public access to South Slope)