Colorado guides say they can’t get enough permits on federal land |

Colorado guides say they can’t get enough permits on federal land

The permit process is convoluted and underfunded, guides and congressmen say

Justin Wingerter
The Denver Post
Spindrift is lit up by the setting sun during a colorful sunset over Rocky Mountain National Park on Nov. 3, 2019 in Estes Park.
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Due to understaffing at the U.S. Forest Service and a cumbersome process, it can take several years and hundreds of work hours before Colorado guides receive a permit to take small groups fishing, hiking or do other recreational activities on federal lands.

To get around it, northern Colorado anglers drive customers 90 minutes into Wyoming because they can’t get a permit to fish in this state. In southern Colorado, the Forest Service has ignored permit applications, effectively prohibiting experts on dangerous 14ers like Blanca Peak and Little Bear Peak.

The result of this outdated regulatory system, according to frustrated outfitters and guides, is fewer trained experts in forests and limitations on Colorado’s famed outdoor recreation industry.

“Is hiking an environmentally impactful activity? No. Hell no,” said David Leinweber, owner and president of Angler’s Covey in Colorado Springs. “This is bureaucracy at the highest level.”

Read more via The Denver Post

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