Forest Service considers closing Ashley National Forest rec sites
Campers, boaters and day-use visitors to the Ashley National Forest are being asked to speak now or forever hold their peace about possible closures of facilities in the Vernal and Flaming Gorge Ranger districts.
The Forest Service has identified 12 recreation area sites for decommissioning and is holding meetings to answer questions and take comments.
"We have been taking a systematic look at the infrastructure on all the facilities and identified these twelve," said Louis Haynes, public affairs officer for the Ashley National Forest. "A lot of these facilities were built in the late 1960s or early 1970s. They are outdated and we have a large backlog of deferred maintenance."
With no indication that the budget or staffing will increase, the sites have been slated for possible decommission rather than repair.
"These are sites that get light to sometimes moderate use," Haynes said.
The Forest Service will consider public comments from the meetings, but will also post notices of the possible closures at each site through the 2014 season to let users know the facilities may not be available in 2015.
The following location have been identified for the following reasons:
Upper Marsh Creek • Remove the crumbling boat ramp and decommission the site.
Long Park • Remove the crumbling boat ramp and nonfunctioning vault toilet and decommission the site.
Greendale Campground • Remove the furnishings, decommission the water system and individual campsites, but leave the group site across Highway 191 open.
Antelope Flat Campground • Remove the furnishings and decommission individual camp sites, but leave the group sites open along with the boat ramp facilities.
Skull Creek Campground • Remove the furnishings and decommission the water system and campground, or decommission the water system, but leave the campground open with reduced fees.
Oaks Park Campground • Remove the vault toilet and furnishings and decommission the site.
Red Canyon Campground • Remove the furnishings and decommission the site.
Sheep Creek Bay Campground • Remove the fence and restroom facilities. Make this a part of the Sheep Creek Bay boat ramp parking area.
Red Spring Campground • Remove toilets and furnishings and decommission the campground.
Kaler Hollow • Remove the furnishings and toilet and decommission the site.
Navajo Cliff Picnic Site • Remove the furnishings and toilet and decommission the site.
Lucerne Group Campground • Remove the shelters for safety reasons, remove the bathroom facilities, and decommission the older group campground above Lucerne Marina.
Where to learn more, comment
Meetings on the possible decommissioning of recreation sites in the Ashley National Forest of northeastern Utah will be held:
March 13 • Daggett County Office Building, 95 N. 1st West, Manila, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
March 14 • Duchesne County Building, 734 N. Center St., Duchesne, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
March 18 • Western Wyoming Community College, #1 College Way, Green River, Wyo., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
March 19 • Uintah Applied Technology Campus, 450 N. 2000 West, Vernal, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
March 20 • Dutch John Community Center, 530 South Blvd., Dutch John, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.