Two friends and I drew deer tags for the Interstate Unit recently. Knowing the Bootleg fire created a huge problem, my friends called both the Bly and Lakeview Forest Service offices to find out what areas were open to camp and hunt.
The offices in Lakeview and Bly both said the area north of Highway 140 was closed except for the 34 road (Mitchell Monument to Quartz Mt.), south to Highway 140 was open and everything above the 34 road was closed to camping and hunting.
This was confirmed with maps provided by Forest Service with pictures and verbal description of the open and closed areas. Two days before season opener, we were turned back at Quartz Mountain road by a security company who said all roads north of Highway 140 were closed, contrary to Forest Service maps and telephone calls to the Forest Service.
This tells us the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. “But why are we surprised as this?” is the general consensus here locally all the way to Washington, D.C. Finally on the third day of hunting the road was open, but we now had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to hunt as compared to a five minute drive.
Talking to Forest Service work crews, we asked if and when the USFS would start logging the burned timber as Green Diamond is already doing. We were told they have no idea if and when they will salvage this burned timber. Probably have to wait and study for two years or more and let it all rot or fall down before a decision is made.
This really gives us a lot of confidence in our government agencies, when the left hand doesn’t know what the “right hand” is doing. What can we expect next ?