Wednesday, June 11, 2008

South Dakota's Pine Ridge Campground Slated for Cuts

Users of the Pine Ridge Ranger District campgrounds could see changes to their familiar camp sites if the Forest Service adopts its proposed Recreation Facility Analysis.

The Recreation Facility Analysis is a result of a national directive, meaning every forest in the country has to prepare a five-year program of work for the recreation facilities. Lisa Heiser, recreation/heritage program manager for Pine Ridge, said there are a lot of variables that go into the analysis.

To begin with, the Forest Service looked at national surveys and census data to determine what they call a “niche statement.” The niche statement defines where forest opportunities meet with visitors’ needs. Heiser said during the analysis, it became clear that most of the public is looking for a “less developed, more primitive dispersed camping experience.”

Bessey Ranger District at Halsey is a more developed complex and sees a lot of use but meets the Nebraska National Forest’s needs for developed camping experiences. Since Bessey meets that need, other districts are looking to offer the more primitive experience.
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