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There’s No Reason To Close Forest Roads Letter Of The Week From Sept. 19

Don Samuelson’s guest editorial (Sept. 10) was right on. The Forest Service has no legitimate reason for closing Forest Service roads. These roads were constructed at taxpayer expense to allow access to wood resources within our national forests. What right does the Forest Service have to say the logging activities are an acceptable impact on grizzly bear habitat, but recreational use is unacceptable?

As a volunteer with Spokane Parks and Recreation, I often take people with disabilities into Boundary County forests for fishing and camping. By closing roads, the Forest Service has eliminated access to mountain areas for anyone who can’t hike many miles and may be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Glacier and Yellowstone national parks receive millions of recreational visitors each year, yet grizzly bears are doing fine in both areas. By comparison, the recreational use of the Boundary County forests is negligible. I have come face to face with a grizzly sow while hiking the backcountry of the Selkirks. She ambled off to a berry patch, and I continued on to fish a high mountain lake.

Never mind the roar of chainsaws, the thundering of logging trucks, or the intrusion of some logging company’s helicopter; my car parked at the trailhead seems to be the target of another federal agency gone berserk.

Steve Busch Spokane