Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Tonto National Forest in Arizona Has Led the Way... The Rest of the National Forests Need to Heed the Lesson

 I suspect that RV Boondocking is getting a Boost as an Unintended Consequence of National Forest Service Performance... or... is that Non-Performance?

We've been snooping around the area the last few days... backroading and scouting camps to file away in our "next time" file, just to keep on top of things, and because... I just like backroad snoopin'!

I have to say... the tendency of National Forests to "not have a clue" is kind of amazing. Especially considering there are examples, Big Ones, within the outfit to show them the way.

There are several Forest Service campgrounds within just a few miles of our RV Boondocking camp. One, just a mile and a half or so...

I realize that things have to be paid for... but why pay $14-17 a night... for dry camping... where there isn't even water or a trash dumpster provided in the campground... when I have the SAME amenities (or lack of)... parked out in Dispersed Camping areas for a total fee (beyond my already paid taxes of course) of ZERO?

As Doctor Gray would say; "Seriously?"

San Juan National Forest is definitely a part of Government. Kind of like California Government. If you're policies are heavily damaging the ability of people to perform and work... just raise their Taxes while you cut services and increase the burden they have to carry. THAT will fix things and grease the wheels of commerce! ;) Geeze! Talk about learning disabled!

The PROOF that a tiny lil' spark of hope still exists; That a few SOMEBODies yet remain who "Get It"... and actually perform... can be found down in Arizona. On the Tonto National Forest to be exact.

Compare the services/facilities provided by San Juan National Forest within their Concessionaire Contracted operation to that on the Tonto National Forest...

The Tonto Charges a $6 a day fee. That's not a discounted rate for folks like me with Golden/Access cards... that's SIX Dollars; as in $6.00 bucks a day. (That's just $3 for us Army Crips!)

... and they've been keeping that citizen cost down For Years!

What do you get for your money? A clean easy to get around campground on Roosevelt Lake. For us it was Cholla Campground. You get potable water in several points within the campground. You get Solar Heated SHOWERS in Multiple Full Bathrooms. You get playground equipment for the Kids/Grand Kids.

There are also RV Dumpstations! Two, right there at Cholla Campground!  How many have I found available for the use of the folks utilizing the HIGH DOLLAR San Juan National Forest Campgrounds from Mancos to Lake Vallecito? Well... Let's see... Oh yeah... There are ZERO. As in not one. Boo Koo Campgrounds... minimal service... heavy use... Pay a lot... get; Not Much.

$17 bucks on the San Juan National Forest... most of which goes to a Private Corporation that landed one of the Management Contracts that Make No Sense and truly only subsidize the Corporation... or $6 bucks on the Tonto National Forest... and get Full and Proper Services...

 ... for those who don't want to park out in the bush like me! :)

One is prospering... the other is decaying...  go figure.

There's a lesson here for the National Forests of the country, and it's a clear and easy one, with a shining example... at least in my experience. Stop dumping off your responsibilities to private corporations. Terminate the sweetheart contracts. Restore the Nations Campgrounds to the condition they should be maintained in.

The director, chief stud duck, head honcho... or whatever they call the top bureaucrat in the National Forest Service needs to step up and direct his minions; 

Take a Lesson from the Tonto National Forest on how to get it done, and be at least one Federal Agency that does a good job for the American People.

If the Tonto can do it... ALL of the National Forests can.

Yeah well... a fella can dream can't he?



KarenInTheWoods said...

Yup, about half of the national forest campgrounds around the U.P. of Michigan have gone concessionaire. It sure changed them (including the prices)... it's not like it used to be. Sigh.
Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

the_Wanderer said...

Yes. The fiefdoms created by these brilliant feds overflow in to all areas, even our little corners. Or maybe they just want it that way?

Brian said...

I should probably keep my pie hole shut huh? Now that I've drawn attention to the Tonto Doin' it right... somebody'll likely want to fix what ain't broken! :)

Unknown said...

Can we rv boondocks for free?

Brian said...

George; There's no prohibition against boondocking on the Tonto. You only need to explore a bit and find a spot that appeals to you!

For me, the $3 a day I pay for a camp on Roosevelt is so cheap it's hard to beat in the winter time. Water, outhouse, solar showers, a dump and generally few folks in a camp that you can actually stay in for 180 days (All winter) is fairly sweet... though now I'm building my own winter camp down in Cochise county...