Several years ago the US Forest Service started their own mapping program to update the older US Geological Survey quad maps. The theory was that the USFS would update forest boundaries, roads, and other important information.
It appears that the USFS has used this new program in part to move forward their own agenda of road closures, and also to remove the historic American mining history in the West. This is being done without public approval or hearings. It is being carried out under federal regulations, and our so called public lands are being stolen away from us ever so silently and quickly.
If you were to pick up a USGS Poison Canyon Quad and a new US Forest Service Poison Canyon Quad you will find the following differences; road closures, roads have been removed, roads have been drawn in the wrong locations, and all the mine symbols have been removed from the map. One example of this is the removal of the North Notch Spring road. Another example is a number of the side roads off of county road 224 have a map symbol across them indicating that they are closed to public use.
In my opinion, the map is just one example of how the USFS is working to take away our access to public lands. Other examples are the new gate on the mountain road, the road closures on Milk Ranch Point, and the deliberate destruction and removal of historic mining and homestead history on forest lands
This behavior is not just subject to the USFS. In the last year, we have seen the Bureau of Land Management remove all the public campsites from Indian Creek with no regards to the public’s needs or rights. This also was done with out any public approval or hearings.
This covert method of taking away public access and lands without public approval or hearings will continue unless we take a stand. We need to make our voices heard, and let the government agencies and special interest groups know we aren’t going to allow this to happen. If we don’t get involved now there won’t be any reason to be involved later.
p>. Monte Wells