LETTER: Forest Service should use saws not explosives
I know I am a bit late in writing this letter, in reference to the Post Independent article of Oct. 16 headlined: “Garfield County deputies find explosives in abandoned campsite.”
The campsite was up No Name trail and still is. I was on that trail that Wednesday, right after the investigation by county deputies, Grand Junction bomb squad and a member of the U.S. Forest Service. The article states a small amount of explosives were found near the campsite. The article goes on to say that the explosives were the type used to clear stumps on the trail. It also says that it was unclear if the explosives were related to the campsite or how they got there.
I spoke to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 16 after the article came out and let them know that the tent was still up there. They said they knew that and that the tent would be removed. Well here it is Dec. 28 and the tent is still there.
It’s peculiar that in the weeks prior to this incident the U.S. Forest Service was using explosives up No Name Creek to bring down standing dead trees. I know this because I spoke to a member of the Forest Service that blew up the trees. So there was a Forest Service representative involved in the investigation on Oct. 9, and the outcome of the investigation was they did not know how the explosives got there.
Now, more than two months later, we have still not been told how the explosives got there. My guess is the authorities knew the day of the investigation, or shortly thereafter, where the explosives came from, and just kept it “hush, hush” because it was the Forest Service that left the explosives lying around up there.
The bigger question here should be are we comfortable with the Forest Service using explosives to bring down standing dead trees on our public trails? Instead of, oh, maybe using a saw, or better yet leaving the trees alone. I can’t imagine the risk of a tree falling on some one is very high.
And if you see the site without snow cover, it looks like an explosion took place with wood shrapnel everywhere, and trees left lying in the creek. Is this an OK practice?
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