New Development: Our Closure Creates Chaos in Sedona

As you know (and am sure are tired of hearing about) the US Forest Service has closed all our privately-funded and operated parks on their land.  These include a number of very popular campgrounds and parks in the Sedona area.

Today we got a call from the County Sheriff saying that visitors were parked all over the highway and walking into our (closed) concession areas.  He said they were creating a serious public safety problem, particularly at Call of the Canyon** (also known as West Fork) and Crescent Moon Ranch (also known as Red Rock Crossing).  I told him that I had specifically raised this issue about these specific sites all the way up to Cal Joyner, Regional head of the USFS in Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Oklahoma and Texas.  And the US Forest Service had closed us anyway.  The Sheriff begged us to reopen the facilities and I told him I would love nothing more but my contracts were suspended and I had no legal basis for doing so.

So, apparently, the sheriff cut the cable on the facilities and is letting cars into the facilities, creating even more chaos.  There is no one there to monitor safety, provide security, clean the bathrooms, pick up trash, etc. -- all the things we do every day without taking one dollar of Federal money, if only the US Forest Service would let us.  I am actually happy the Sheriff is giving visitors access.  These facilities are particularly lovely in the Autumn.  But the US Forest Service needs to send 15 or 20 people to help manage them, but that would cost them money they do not have.  Or they could just let us get back to operating the sites, which does not cost them one dime.


** The West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon is so beautiful in the fall that Zane Grey immortalized it in a novel called "Call of the Canyon."  The trailhead and parking area are cramped and require a lot of active management even when staffed to keep them operating safely.


  1. Mike:

    Not tired of hearing about it. I've been following this and other shutdown related issues.

  2. Brian M:

    Have the Sheriff send the inmates in to clean the campgrounds. Anything an overpaid park employee does can't be all that difficult.

  3. Roy:

    Local authorities stand between locals and federal authorities. Doctrine of interposition. Aka reversal of 1865. Gotta love it!

  4. pokeyblow:

    I don't get tired of these posts.

    I appreciate reminders of how little respect libertarians have for the contracts they sign, and how quickly they whine when the government doesn't keep them cozy and comfortable.

  5. glenn.griffin3:

    Send some selected employees there, not to re-open the park, but to ... handle safety concerns. To prevent damage to park grounds. And put a big sign up at the front, explaining what you are doing, and the cause for it, but that the park is not open ... and set up a donation box for those volunteers keeping the bathrooms clean?

    Check with your lawyers, first, but, I would think, if you didn't take a tone that the white house might consider ... I don't know how to say it. Don't poke your finger in their eye, they might not cut it off, I suppose.

    Just thinking out loud, here. You don't want the place trashed when you get back -- unless you are planning to sue and recoup losses. And no one wants that.

  6. roxpublius:

    agree with the above. none of us are tired of hearing about what you are dealing with.

  7. Brian M:

    You really need to learn a little more about libertarians.