USFS suddenly shuts public roads prior to elk hunt

elkantlers

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,048
Location
UT
I would love to see someone hook a chain to those gates and rip them out of the ground.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
7,718
Location
Somewhere in the basalt rocks
It sure seems like a strange slippery slope.

Numerous accidents with road blockages all across the county I live in yesterday. Paid first responders as well as volunteers were out on the sides of the interstate doing dangerous work all day long. Our VFD got paged out to a rollover with ejection. All of Montana was busy.

Far more action and danger than anything that’s gonna happen on a USFS road. But the roads were and are open.

Not apples to apples I know, and highways are sometimes closed, but I dislike the spirit of the decision. Mountain roads when closed, should be closed for management decisions and wildlife under official travel plans, not weather. Then again, I suppose weather shuts down roads in other ways like floods or gumbo. It just seems wrong to close the road down due to snow.
You are absolutely correct. We drove in it yesterday, and quite frankly I was surprised more roads weren’t closed.

I wasn’t there during the conversations, but I’ll wager the decision was made in conjunction with the local search and rescue and sheriffs office. I doubt it was an easy decision, and someone intent on logical consistency is probably going to be disappointed.

It sounds like a pretty extreme weather event. I pray for safety for all of the public safety folks out working today. Yes, they knew what they signed up for, but decisions to reduce their risk can and should be made.

Happy thanksgiving all.
 
Last edited:

Losing_Sanity

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
436
People in these positions of government, throughout government offices and groups, have way too much control and power. They are afforded this control because we expect them to do a job, and to do that job they have to have control. It's a double edged sword. Some officials handle it well and others handle it poorly because thier dissicions are based on personal opinion, assumptions and not what the majority wants. We can't stop it without affecting those who do a great job and really need that control and power.

The area for discussion does not effect me, but I really have a problem with people in government positions babysitting people to protect them from doing something that they think people might do. This stuff happens all over the country. If I go into an area, I accept the risks and it's on me. If I don't come out, well I made my own decisions. It is no ones fault but mine. Also, I truly doubt that there will be enough travel to "Destroy" the area. The area belongs to the people, not the government. Although it's not a popular mind set, if something gets "messed up", then they should go fix it, which is also what they get paid to do and part of their job. We do hope people using the area will act responsibly. But it should not be closed for all at the assumption that one might not be responsible.
 

Straight Arrow

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
3,300
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
The wasn’t there during the conversations, but I’ll wager the decision was made in conjuring the local search and rescue and sheriffs office. I doubt it was an easy decision, and someone intent on logical consistency is probably going to be disappointed.
I agree. Your point is valid and borne out by an increasing public safety issue here in SW Montana. Gallatin County Search and Rescue (SAR), as well as other public safety groups, is getting spread too thin during such high risk storms and other periods when unthinking nimrods put themselves in danger. Never does the public safety group say, "We aren't going to save that person because they exercised poor judgement." They just gear up and go to help, often putting themselves at risk.
A recent accident involving broken bones of an outfitter hunter resulted in a medical helicopter dispatched but unable to assist due to weather and terrain challenges, then a Malmstrom AFB rescue Huey helicopter made a failed attempt, and finally the rescue helicopter with a hoist, out of the Flathead area completed conflicting rescue missions there and flew down to extract the injured hunter. Afterward, the county sheriff was concerned because the injured hunter's life was not at risk and he could have easily been extracted with ground support. The discussion has evolved into the realization that air extraction (helicopter) medical and rescue support is overtasked at such times and eventually someone whose life is at risk is going to suffer because some nimrod with lesser injuries gets the aviation support. That issue and real dilemma is evident with regard to all the SAR support systems, whether they be ground, water, aviation, winter, summer, or whatever.

So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
 

MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
2,784
Location
MT —> AZ
I agree. Your point is valid and borne out by an increasing public safety issue here in SW Montana. Gallatin County Search and Rescue (SAR), as well as other public safety groups, is getting spread too thin during such high risk storms and other periods when unthinking nimrods put themselves in danger. Never does the public safety group say, "We aren't going to save that person because they exercised poor judgement." They just gear up and go to help, often putting themselves at risk.
A recent accident involving broken bones of an outfitter hunter resulted in a medical helicopter dispatched but unable to assist due to weather and terrain challenges, then a Malmstrom AFB rescue Huey helicopter made a failed attempt, and finally the rescue helicopter with a hoist, out of the Flathead area completed conflicting rescue missions there and flew down to extract the injured hunter. Afterward, the county sheriff was concerned because the injured hunter's life was not at risk and he could have easily been extracted with ground support. The discussion has evolved into the realization that air extraction (helicopter) medical and rescue support is overtasked at such times and eventually someone whose life is at risk is going to suffer because some nimrod with lesser injuries gets the aviation support. That issue and real dilemma is evident with regard to all the SAR support systems, whether they be ground, water, aviation, winter, summer, or whatever.

So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
Why are the roads that access your parking spot to your hunting areas open?

C8BCE8FB-8DB1-4F43-A5DD-3AE9E9BFC1E9.png
 

MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
2,784
Location
MT —> AZ
I agree. Your point is valid and borne out by an increasing public safety issue here in SW Montana. Gallatin County Search and Rescue (SAR), as well as other public safety groups, is getting spread too thin during such high risk storms and other periods when unthinking nimrods put themselves in danger. Never does the public safety group say, "We aren't going to save that person because they exercised poor judgement." They just gear up and go to help, often putting themselves at risk.
A recent accident involving broken bones of an outfitter hunter resulted in a medical helicopter dispatched but unable to assist due to weather and terrain challenges, then a Malmstrom AFB rescue Huey helicopter made a failed attempt, and finally the rescue helicopter with a hoist, out of the Flathead area completed conflicting rescue missions there and flew down to extract the injured hunter. Afterward, the county sheriff was concerned because the injured hunter's life was not at risk and he could have easily been extracted with ground support. The discussion has evolved into the realization that air extraction (helicopter) medical and rescue support is overtasked at such times and eventually someone whose life is at risk is going to suffer because some nimrod with lesser injuries gets the aviation support. That issue and real dilemma is evident with regard to all the SAR support systems, whether they be ground, water, aviation, winter, summer, or whatever.

So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
But the ones that access these ones aren’t?

6A650F2E-6864-442F-BB91-BF961A2D9A91.png
 

neffa3

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
2,808
Location
Wenatchee
While I agree that people should be allowed to make mistakes, and I disagree with the mass closing of these roads. But how many people are relating access to vehicle access... something those same people would disagree with in other conversations.

Also, living in WA i can vouch that not everyone knows how to handle snow like Montana's citizens. They close our state highways ALL THE TIME, and for good reasons based on the idiots we're have driving on or roads. Snoqualmie pass will close for days and it impacts +30,000 cars a day. Not just a couple tag holders.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
7,718
Location
Somewhere in the basalt rocks
Gomer, you’re a smart guy but you’re wanting a linear world that operates on black and white. Sometimes decisions like this have to be made not only on current conditions, but also the potential conditions and risks associated.

You can give examples all you want. I doubt the forest supervisor cares about the road in the Lolo. Nor does she care about conditions in Bozeman.

Again, not supporting or criticizing her decision. Glad I didn’t have to make it.
 

Addicting

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
3,007
Location
SW Michigan
So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
As a former police officer and a Nationals Guardsman, I am pretty well aware of the challenges you mentioned.

When the condition are “extremely dangerous” I agree with you. Unfortunately what a extremely dangerous event is left to peoples interpretation. To me a hurricane making land fall is, a unstoppable forest fire is, a snow storm that is planned for and prepared for is not. A Tag holder that’s waited 10+ years is not going to throw caution to the wind and rush right in without being prepared.
 

Losing_Sanity

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
436
I agree. Your point is valid and borne out by an increasing public safety issue here in SW Montana. Gallatin County Search and Rescue (SAR), as well as other public safety groups, is getting spread too thin during such high risk storms and other periods when unthinking nimrods put themselves in danger. Never does the public safety group say, "We aren't going to save that person because they exercised poor judgement." They just gear up and go to help, often putting themselves at risk.
A recent accident involving broken bones of an outfitter hunter resulted in a medical helicopter dispatched but unable to assist due to weather and terrain challenges, then a Malmstrom AFB rescue Huey helicopter made a failed attempt, and finally the rescue helicopter with a hoist, out of the Flathead area completed conflicting rescue missions there and flew down to extract the injured hunter. Afterward, the county sheriff was concerned because the injured hunter's life was not at risk and he could have easily been extracted with ground support. The discussion has evolved into the realization that air extraction (helicopter) medical and rescue support is overtasked at such times and eventually someone whose life is at risk is going to suffer because some nimrod with lesser injuries gets the aviation support. That issue and real dilemma is evident with regard to all the SAR support systems, whether they be ground, water, aviation, winter, summer, or whatever.

So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
You make some great arguments for selectively utilizing a risk assessment process and determining if something is warranted. But based on your story and results, they may as well stop all back country hunting in it's entirety due to the possibility that the resources are stretched to thin and something may happen. For that matter, in the same philosophy, close every highway in the united states during Thanksgiving because emergency services are overwhelmed during this time of year.

I guess I'm one of those "anti-gubment, armchair critics"...
 

Straight Arrow

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
3,300
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
Why are the roads that access your parking spot to your hunting areas open?
You missed my point(s).
I can't answer your question, but feel compelled to ask if you consider the Gallatin area the same as Coconino National Forest, Mogollon Rim Ranger District and considerations likewise the same?
 

Straight Arrow

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
3,300
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
You make some great arguments for selectively utilizing a risk assessment process and determining if something is warranted. But based on your story and results, they may as well stop all back country hunting in it's entirety due to the possibility that the resources are stretched to thin and something may happen. For that matter, in the same philosophy, close every highway in the united states during Thanksgiving because emergency services are overwhelmed during this time of year.

I guess I'm one of those "anti-gubment, armchair critics"...
You too missed the point. ... now you're just being silly about real life issues.
 

Losing_Sanity

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
436
You too missed the point. ... now you're just being silly about real life issues.

Sorry if I missed your point. Maybe I should read it closer, but maybe you should have stated it more clear as well. :)

Sometimes you got to be silly to stress a point...
 

sapperJ24

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Messages
25
Location
Western Montana
I'm not familiar with Arizona weather or the National Forests in that region and I generally do not support closing public lands (exception for fires, blown out roads, etc.), but I can understand why a forest would try to be proactive.

A well-forecast early season winter storm hit Montana at the end of September and peak of the early rifle backcountry hunting season. The storm dumped feet of snow ( https://www.weather.gov/tfx/27-30September2019Snowstorm ) in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and surrounding areas stranding outfitters, clients and hunters. Two forests then spent almost a week supporting these camps with food and hay for the stock and routing logistics to get them out. As budgets for recreation continue to decline, the forests cannot afford to spend next year's trail clearing funds helping folks who didn't heed warnings. Although to be clear, I don't think letting people and stock die is superior to cutting some trees out of the trial.

As others have stated and to reiterate, I do not want to see the Forest Service closing areas prior to storms, but it can be a real pain in the ass for them when people rely on the Forest Service to save them.
 

ismith

Active member
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
585
Location
Helena, MT
I agree. Your point is valid and borne out by an increasing public safety issue here in SW Montana. Gallatin County Search and Rescue (SAR), as well as other public safety groups, is getting spread too thin during such high risk storms and other periods when unthinking nimrods put themselves in danger. Never does the public safety group say, "We aren't going to save that person because they exercised poor judgement." They just gear up and go to help, often putting themselves at risk.
A recent accident involving broken bones of an outfitter hunter resulted in a medical helicopter dispatched but unable to assist due to weather and terrain challenges, then a Malmstrom AFB rescue Huey helicopter made a failed attempt, and finally the rescue helicopter with a hoist, out of the Flathead area completed conflicting rescue missions there and flew down to extract the injured hunter. Afterward, the county sheriff was concerned because the injured hunter's life was not at risk and he could have easily been extracted with ground support. The discussion has evolved into the realization that air extraction (helicopter) medical and rescue support is overtasked at such times and eventually someone whose life is at risk is going to suffer because some nimrod with lesser injuries gets the aviation support. That issue and real dilemma is evident with regard to all the SAR support systems, whether they be ground, water, aviation, winter, summer, or whatever.

So to those anti-gubment, armchair critics of public safety decisions such as closing risky roads during extremely dangerous brief periods of time, I say, "Think about it, become better aware of the challenges faced by SAR and sheriffs' departments, and just get over it!"
The USAF UH-1 helicopters are not rescue helicopters, I wonder why a MTARNG medivac helicopter, with hoist and flight medic wasn’t called?
 
Top