Put sherpas on Fossil Creek trail
As a resident of Strawberry, I have been reading with interest the back and forth between local and federal governmental authorities regarding access to Fossil Creek via the Strawberry trailhead. The problem has been identified by both entities as the need for better access to FR 708 to rescue inexperienced/incompetent hikers and the unavailability of federal funds to make that happen. And recently, in typical government fashion, it has been announced the trailhead is even being shut down completely for July and August because of this impasse.
Fortunately, I can think outside the governmental box and have a solution that would keep the trail open, eliminate the need to rescue inexperienced/incompetent hikers altogether, and cost the federal government virtually nothing.
In short, instead of the current system that allows unfettered access to Fossil Creek by inexperienced/incompetent hikers, the Forest Service should implement a “sherpa” system similar to the one used to access Mount Everest.
The “sherpa” would be licensed by the federal government to lead 12-15 people on a hike down to Fossil Creek and back. The “sherpa” would ensure all hikers are competent, have proper equipment and provisions, and are physically capable of making the challenging hike. Bada bing, bada boom ... no more rescuing inexperienced, incompetent people, and no cost to the government to improve FR 708. But best of all, the trail remains open!
To the local and federal authorities involved in this conversation ... you are welcome.
“Sherpa” Erich Kuhn, Strawberry