Originally Posted by subzali
Isaac, the USFS doesn't have funding, but does that mean the forests are closed?
I am not advocating that anything be vandalized and I certainly appreciate the pricelessness of these places, but it seems to me that we fund the NPS for maintenance of the parks and for manning visitor centers etc., not just for the privilege of accessing them. Maybe I don't understand (because I haven't read) the statute establishing national parks?
My understanding is, and this could be incorrect, (the website on this info was a .gov site and therefore is non-operational) that National Parks are a different classification of federal land than forests. Forests have all sorts of caveats: people can claim land on them (mining usually), you can cut wood, graze cattle, you can primitive camp, etc.... BLM has its own set of things. National Parks are the highest of the high for public access (obviously military installations would be even higher). Hence all of further restrictions.
I am, a little bit, playing devils advocate here. But only slightly. I agree with Jeremy that if we are paying staff to be there, at least SOME of the areas could be open, one would think. Obviously not visitors centers or any of the guided things, or camp grounds but you could drive through.
On the other hand, I think that things like the national parks closing helps drive home the fact that the federal system is not entirely bad. They do provide really great services, that perhaps we all take for granted. The reality is, we have a completely idiotic and dysfunctional congress. I think it is important to separate those dip****s from the millions of hardworking, dedicated individuals who work in the federal system, like Park Rangers.
Anyway, to summarize, I think the National Parks are closed while the USFS system is not because of the higher grade of protection that National Parks are required to have.