Forest Service is understaffed
The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District’s budget is out for next summer, and they get four summer employees for the entire district. One of those will be trail crew to clear more than 500 miles of trail. This past summer, the district had four on-trail crew members, and they still didn’t quite get all the trails cleared. Be prepared for some tough hiking next summer.
The Roaring Fork Valley makes a lot of money from national forest use. Perhaps those who make the money would be willing to help the district maintain the facilities. A trail-crew person cost the Forest Service $20,000 for the season, including all benefits. The Forest Service cannot solicit donations but can accept donations for a specific purpose.
An organization needs to step forward to act as a clearinghouse for money donated if we want our visitors to have a quality experience next summer.
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