USFS campgrounds wind down after shutdown

usfssign.jpgSince the government recently re-opened, the Forest Service also re-opened some campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra. However, since it is so late in the season, some concessionaires have chosen not to do the same and there is no water or trash service.

In the White Mountain and Mount Whitney Ranger Districts, Ranger Margaret Wood said that campgrounds are re-opened with no water and no trash service. They are the Holiday Campground in the Rock Creek Area, Bitter Brush in the Bishop Creek area, Lower Grays in Independence, Lone Pine Campground, Backpacker and Equestrian in the Horseshoe area and Grandview in the White Mountains.

In the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, Ranger Jon Regelbrugge said Lower Lee Vining Campground and Glass Creek Campground have been re-opened. He said the Forest Service will evaluate use to determine if it is appropriate to re-open others. But Regelbrugge added that many of the Forest Service campgrounds are operated by California Land Management under special use permit.

Regelbrugge said when the Forest Service notified CLM that their permit to operate had been suspended due to the government shutdown, they advised that it was their intent to close the campgrounds they operate for the season. He said the same holds true now – CLM will not re-open campgrounds until next spring.

CLM holds permits for a number of campgrounds on the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts. Regelbrugge said this includes Shady Rest and Sherwin Creek plus the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Reds Meadow areas, June Lake Loop area and Lee Vining Canyon. He did say that by late October, usually only two or three campgrounds remain open.



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9 Responses to USFS campgrounds wind down after shutdown

  1. sugar magnolia October 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Since the campgrounds are/were run by a concessionaire, the decision to shut down the campgrounds by the USFS due to the govt. shut down seems punitive at best.

    Can we get an explanation of why USFS chose to terminate the permits just because the USFS wasn’t working? Just exactly what service was the USFS providing to the concessionaire that made it impractical to keep them operating?

    • Benett Kessler October 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Federal land. Just like all the national parks and monuments. Even if the feds provide little to no service, it’s still national property, and they make the decisions.
      They even put up yellow tape in national parks so people could not use view sites.
      Benett Kessler

    • Desert Tortoise October 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Without an appropriation act or continuing resolution signed into law, Federal agencies have no authority to obligate funds, the USFS could not legally pay their vendors so the contracts had to be terminated. This happened across the Federal government.

      • sugar magnolia October 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

        I would think that the concessionaire collects the revenue and then pays the Govt. their cut….no payment from the US govt. required. I would also hope that the concessionaire is the one contracting for service required at the porta-pottie pumping etc.

        If the govt. is contracting out the revenue collection, they should be contracting out the expenses too.

  2. fish dude October 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Like many others, we don’t quite know why other businesses ,resorts, mammoth mtn. etc. were not shut down… Why the campgrounds? They are run by the concessions just like a lease…Good question by SM that needs some more answers…

    • Benett Kessler October 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      We have emailed Ranger Regelbrugge for an answer.

      • Pedro October 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

        SW, while your at it, ask if logging and mining operations were shut down.

        • Desert Tortoise October 22, 2013 at 9:47 am #

          Logging and mining operations do not depend on Federal spending to continue to operate. The firms involved paid money for the leases they are working. If they were to reach a point where they required some sort of Federal employee to do something in order for their work to continue such as an inspection, survey, etc, they would face a work stoppage. Likewise, there could be no new leases as long as there were no Federal employees available to process the paperwork and sign approvals.

    • Desert Tortoise October 22, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Who is paying them for their services? Without an appropriations bill or continuing resolution signed into law, Federal agencies were prohibited from obligating funds to make payments to anyone including their own employees. But how many of these busiensses you mention are hired by a Federal agency to perform work or provide services directly to a Federal agency? Not many, so their contracts were not suspended and they continued to work.

      It’s not all a dark conspiracy. Learn the three stages of a budget, the Budget Resolution (which being a resolution of both houses does not need a Presidential signature), Authorization Act that authorizes each government agency to continue to exist and the Appropriations Act that gives agencies the authority to spend money and the only one of the three parts of the budget process required by the US Constitution.

      it is a public process that is understandable. Once understood much of what you view with suspicion makes sense.


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