Council blasts Forest Service over closures

Many of the restrooms are locked. Many of the trash bins are locked. Many of the campgrounds are closed and the reservation system for the Lakes Basin is in its annual state of confusion.

So said the Town Council Wednesday evening. If there was a predominate theme, it was anger.

Outgoing councilman Skip Harvey started things off with questions about Forest Service policy, Matt Lehman chimed in with a sharp criticism over dirt-bike and off-road closures, and John Eastman followed with a question as to why our campgrounds and restroom facilities are still closed, even though Yosemite National Park has opened at least some of its campgrounds and facilities.

Rick Wood wondered aloud if it was time that the town take over some of the Forest Service’s responsibilities.

But the harshest criticism came from the audience, when Recreation Commissioner Teri Stehlik recounted a Memorial Day story regarding her brother’s experience at Lake Mary.

“He said there was mass amounts of people, and nowhere to park. All the blockades were up. By he time he got back, at least 75 cars passed him while he was walking around the lake.”