Camping shouldn’t be complicated |

Camping shouldn’t be complicated

Dear Editor:

The article “City considers saving parking spaces on pass,” in the Aug. 6 Aspen Times, discusses some of the reasons why the U.S. Forest Service has banned overnight camping and parking on Independence Pass for the upcoming bicycle race.

Katie Martinez, of the Forest Service, states, “It is our job to ensure that we maintain the size of the visitor population (and their associated impacts) well below the maximum carrying capacity of the unique ecosystem.”

I first question why the visitor population would need to be “well below” the maximum! If a maximum number is set, why would you need to be well below that maximum? That makes me wonder if maybe the maximum is an unrealistic number for the ecosystem.

Would it be possible to sell or issue overnight permits for cycling enthusiasts to purchase that would allow them to camp? Take the maximum number of visitors the Forest Service feels the ecosystem can handle, subtract a percentage from it, and sell that number of permits. This would allow some to camp overnight, keep visitors well below the maximum, minimize the impact on the ecosystem and generate some revenue for the Forest Service. Permits could be large Day-Glo orange stickers placed on windows of the vehicle visible from the road. If a person is there without a permit, fine them a thousand dollars! Forest Service rangers can patrol and enforce.

Or will there be a person at the bottom of the pass who is clicking a counter for each person who goes up before the race so the maximum is not exceeded?

Oh, and editor, do you really need to continue printing letters from Emzy Veazy III? He is still dwelling on his 2008 editorial submissions! That is so, well, 2000 and 8! LOL.

John Norman


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User