Budget Cuts Threaten Forests' Ropads, Recreation
WASHINGTON — The roads to the national forests could get bumpier. Trails could get messier. Maintenance on bridges, dams and recreation sites could become tougher under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1.
The White House is seeking only about $100 million in funding for capital improvement and maintenance by the National Forest Service, down from $363 million this year.
That 73 percent cut could have a huge impact on recreation, according to Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy for American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization.
Turner said roads are used to access the trails leading to “majestic overlooks,” and lakes and rivers in the forests. She said the budget cuts would also lead to campsites and facilities not being maintained.
Turner said that if the Forest Service is unable to maintain safe roads, boat launches and campgrounds, they’re likely to close.
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