Will your favorite Forest Service campsite be closed down next summer?
Perhaps, if it doesn’t fit the agency’s increased focus on "dispersed recreation" at remote sites. The 155 national forests are now ranking their developed camping and picnic sites to determine if they meet agency standards; those that fall short will be closed or have their services reduced. According to a recent report from the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, between 3,000 and 5,000 sites could eventually be closed. The Forest Service won’t discuss exact numbers until the plans are complete in 2007, but says that number is overblown. Some sites will remain open but may have their water or toilets removed; others may reduce their operating seasons, become fee-based, or be turned over to private concessionaires.