Speak Up On Fossil Creek

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The Forest Service seems determined to ignore us.

But that don’t mean we have to roll over and play dead.

The Coconino National Forest folks running the effort to come up with a sensible management plan for Fossil Creek this week unveiled seven “concepts” for the future of this precious resource.

Not one of those concepts offered any hope of reopening the road between Strawberry and the creek — except one plan to let people with a permit and an off-road vehicle trundle down the narrow dirt road. Most of the concepts reduce already pathetically limited access, by closing the Fossil Creek Trail — including the off-roader tilted plan.

The Forest Service had planned to flash the concepts and close the public comment period today. In a concession to the people who showed up this week and expressed dismay at the proposals, the Forest Service has agreed to continue accepting suggestions until next Tuesday.

We hope you’ll carefully read the stories about the various proposals and send an e-mail to the Forest Service expressing your preferences.

For our part, we think the Forest Service should offer access to the creek from Rim Country. Such a move would make us partners rather than problems in the management of the precious resources. Rim Country residents already volunteer for every single rescue in the bottom of the canyon. We stand ready and willing to become active partners in protecting the resource. But we’re offended by these half-baked concepts dished up by the Coconino Forest keepers of the plan.

If you want to comment, send comments to the Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s office (1824 S. Thompson St. Flagstaff, AZ 86001, Attn: Fossil Creek CRMP ID Team) or e-mail comments to comments-southwestern-coconino@fs.fed.us. For questions contact Jean Szymanski, Public Affairs Office, Forest Service – Southwestern Region (505) 842-3325. Maybe they’ll ignore us: But it shouldn’t be because we sat in the corner and said nothing.

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