I received the following e-mail and attachment from Scott Ayers regarding proposed resouce reductions in the stronghold.
I received the attached document from someone with the lowdown on the behind-the-scenes Forest Service plan to eliminate the ranger position occupied by Chuck Holt. Chuck had an assistant up until recently; that position has already been terminated.
If this plan goes through, there will be no on-sight land manager in the entire Stronghold. As Chuck has gone above and beyond his job description to be a positive influence on this area, it can be reasonably deduced that his absence will have an impact as well.
Please take a moment to read the attached document as it clearly outlines the situation and its potential ramifications. There is contact information supplied at the end of the document if you are interested in writing a letter to let the supervisor know how you feel.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I hope this email finds you all well.
Thanks again! Scott
Here is the associated attachment:
During the last few years, the Coronado National Forest recreation management has changed from a district-based recreation program to a zone-based recreation program including the Douglas, Nogales, Safford and Nogales Ranger Districts. The change was meant to save money (or rearrange it). One of the changes that has resulted from the reorganization is that instead of having volunteers, seasonal employees such as district-based trail crew members, senior citizen workers, GS-5 and GS-7 employees all out on the ground cleaning up after and interacting with the forest visitors, there is now only one level of employee left. In that level, there are only a few of those divided among four districts of the Coronado National Forest and they have to cover every mountain range (10 of them) except the Santa Catalinas – which is still run at the district level.
Where the Dragoons used to get attention from a district recreation staff officer, an assistant recreation staff officer, a full-time local administrator, a part-time year-round employee, and three volunteers, it is now looked after by only one full-time local administrator and one volunteer. If the Cochise Stronghold Area Manager position is eliminated there will be no full-time forest service personnel located in Cochise Stronghold Canyon or anywhere in the Dragoon mountains. When needed, F.S. personnel will have to respond from Portal, Douglas, Sierra Vista or Safford.
It has been proposed that the full-time area manager position based at the Cochise Stronghold Administration Site be left unmanned. That means that no one will be on duty at the site and no one available or on-call during night-time hours. If this proposal goes into effect Canyon residents, forest visitors and the local community can expect several adverse impacts:
If you feel that the elimination of a full-time F.S. presence here would impact your sense of safety, your personal property or the quality of your recreational activities here, and/or if you feel that this action would be detrimental to E. Cochise Stronghold Canyon and the Dragoon mountains we urge you to consider contacting Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jeanine Derby. The Forest Supervisor is the one person with the authority to enact or deny this proposal. Letters are best, email is acceptable, phone calls are probably not the best avenue but could be effective if you think you can remain calm and reasonable during a phone conversation.
It is important to remember to address the supervisor on issues that she can respond to. For example
Your responses should be addressed to:
Jeanine Derby, Forest Supervisor
Coronado National Forest
300 W. Congress
Tucson, AZ 85701