-It's really a pivotal moment. The battle lines have been drawn. We're pointing our fingers, but we're pointing them pretty much at ourselves. We're saying that we have to start exercising restraint in when and where we choose to recreate. A lot of people would find that a hard choice to make, and they'd rather not make it. They'd rather just keep it the status quo."
* Beverly Compton,
will have to give up something."
believe that during the next decade or two, impacts from
industrial-level recreation will exceed those of commercial
logging. We didn't think the Forest Service had the guts or
fortitude or political will to put industrial-level recreation
under control before massive danger was done. Then along comes the
White River Forest plan that says, maybe we'll try to fight this
and put it under control."
* Jasper Carlton,
executive director, Biodiversity Legal
of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area (in the White River National
Forest), an individual would be hard pressed to find a location
that is more than two miles from a road in the Eagle South
District. Most places, it is closer to one mile or less. The
addition of more roads will only lead to loss of wildlife habitat,
increased sedimentation in our waterways, noise pollution, loss of
solitude, more erosion, etc."
* 1999 advisory
memo from the Colorado Division of
debate over forest management continues to be driven by outdated
models from a bygone era. We should be talking about the condition
we want on the land. We should be talking about what we leave
rather than what we take."
* Michael Dombeck,
Forest Service chief, commenting Oct. 7, on the vision of Aldo
Leopold for the Forest
you read the draft environmental impact statement carefully, you
will find that the herds of mule deer and elk are as abundant as
they were before European settlement. You will also find that some
species, the grizzly bear and the wolf, are extinct, and that other
species, such as the lynx and the wolverine, are thought to be
nearly extinct here. Tell me, was it the mountain bikers and dirt
bikers and four-wheelers that killed them? Was it the ski areas or
any other form of recreation?
"I don't think so.
I think you have to look at grazing and other forest users. But
extreme environmentalists have to have some kind of enemy. Since
the timber sales have ended, and the mining has ended, now they
have made recreation their enemy.
recreational impacts are miniscule compared to those other things.
What impact does a motorcycle cause? All of the motorcycles in
Eagle County in a year's time cause less erosion than does one
bulldozer in one pass into a hillside."
Vangalis, dirt biker, Eagle
"To take the areas
immediately surrounding ski areas and block them off from
development is a very short-sighted thing to do, because we already
have the infrastructure in place for a ski area, and because of
their very nature, being capital intensive in one area, it's only
logical to expand to adjacent areas."
Geraldine Hughes, director of public affairs for the National Ski
"If you are
making closure decisions specifically to protect wildlife habitat,
certainly that effort we support, but we want to be sure that there
are legitimate reasons, and it's not just a way to close trails and
hide behind wildlife."
* Jennifer Lamb,
advocacy director of the International Mountain Bicycling
believe that the plan is overly restrictive, is based upon
inadequate site-specific analysis, and potentially is going to have
a severe economic impact on not only the White River itself, but
"Second, we believe this particular
plan is being orchestrated much more from Washington than it ought
to be. That it's not being responsive to the needs of individuals
locally, but is designed to fulfill another agenda, that agenda
being way up in the administrative ladder."
Jerry Abboud, executive director of the Colorado Off-Highway
is just the beginning. Anything from (Alternative) B to I is up for
grabs. Use is largely unrestricted at any time of the year, aside
from some uses inside wilderness areas. That's the condition we're
looking at now. You look at the growth of the last decade or more.
It raises the question of the next 15 years, and can this forest
manage double the users without any confinement or restrictions on
those uses, and still maintain a healthy ecosystem?"
* Martha Ketelle, White River National Forest
"This is a money
plan, not an ecology plan. Don't kid yourself. They're saving money
by closing roads, because they don't generate any money."
* Alex Cunningham, senior policy planner for
Eagle County, Colo.
timber cut is the old story. Today's debate is about access.
Recreation is the context in which all these controversies will
play themselves off."
* Doug Kenney, a research
associate for the Natural Resources Law Center in Boulder,
"(Is our plan) an
elitist plan? There's nothing more democratic than walking. But to
join the motorized club you have to drop six grand on a new toy,
another grand on a trailer to haul it around with, and several more
grand on a place to store it.
"Our plan doesn't
discriminate against motorized users. It's open to all. It's just
that you have to leave the toy behind.
really fed up with these middle-aged, overweight beer-gut guys who
don't keep themselves in shape hiding behind disabled little old
ladies, saying if you don't allow motorized access you're
discriminating. These guys are simply hiding behind their own
motorized thrill sport. I wish they would make the argument a
little more honest.
"Five of my board members are
women over the age of 70 who regularly hike in the wilderness."
* Sloan Shoemaker, director of the nonprofit
Aspen Wilderness Workshop, on Alternative I, the citizens'
Alternative D rejects the idea that wildlife and environmental
preservation can be balanced with recreation. The Forest Service
instead has indicated that preservation is inconsistent with
recreation and other human uses on Forest Service lands."
* Harris Sherman, an attorney
Summit County and Vail Valley ski
* ... a museum
* Rep. Scott McInnis,
describing the Forest Service vision for
the White River Forest
White River National Forest is not just a Colorado issue. We've
been trying to get the word out to others."
Mel Wolf, Colorado Snowmobile
can co-exist comfortably with the Forest Service plan, but it's a
new job for the Forest Service to police trails."
* Frank Celico, president of the Summit Fat
"We have a road
system that is not managed very well. We have some roads that were
scheduled to be closed in the "85 plan, and the job never got
* Dan Hormachea, forest planner for the
White River National
"When people tell me,
"You're out on the edge, you're all alone," I have to tell them,
"We're following our mandate (from Washington). We're not alone.
The mandate tells us things to emphasize. It doesn't say where on
the forest. They set the policy, and we implement it."
* Carolyn Upton, White River Forest
"Nobody in the
audience is going to get upset unless their toes are stepped on.
They danced in the audience on this one.
is the first time the mountain-bike community has been injured in
process, and they will be injured proportionately greater than the
other groups simply because they're new to the process. They aren't
organized, they're not pooling their funds, they're not being fully
represented, and because of the way they have dealt for the last 15
years ... I'm not sure they are going to find cooperative partners
in the motorized community to help them."
John Martin, a board member of the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle
"This is very
precedent-setting. I think everybody is looking to see if this
decision will stand, and to send a message to other upcoming forest
plan revisions as to how they can balance recreation and ecosystem
* Roz McClellan, Rocky Mountain
directors support the biodiversity theme of Alternative D because
it makes for a better natural mountain environment. I think the
board also realizes there have to be limits on human uses or
intrusions into the backcountry. I think the board recognizes that
if it means cutting back on a number of future huts, that's more
important. And finally, we believe the plan is well-conceived,
setting limits and still allowing some use."
Peter Looram, executive director, 10th Mountain Hut
"Is our forest
irreparably damaged, or becoming so? Elk herds roam in record
numbers, bears are everywhere, mountain lions stalk, coyotes howl.
Go for a hike, mountain bike pedal or jeep ride, and the lush
forest will astound you with its wealth of flowers, insects, birds
* Randy Parsons, motorized user
from Silt, Colo., and member of the White River Forest
have some science. If you want the depth of science that proves a
certain number of motor trips or certain number of people in a
certain hour that disrupts the mating cycle of species X, Y, Z, no,
that's not there yet, and it may not never be.
don't know of anything (else among forest plans) that goes this far
in trail closures. It would set a very good precedent. It would say
to other forests: "You can do it, you'll take some heat, but the
Forest Service is finally starting to do what it should be doing."
Motor use has to be addressed, because it has grown out of control
in recent years."
* Rocky Smith, staffer with
the nonprofit Colorado Wild
don't know how you're going to enforce all the closures."
* Bruce Campbell, a member of the High Country
Snowmobile Club Association