October 31, 2013
Dear Chief Tidwell:
The Committee on Natural Resources ("Committee") is conducting oversight of how the U.S. Forest Service exercised its discretion in preparing for and responding to the lapse in appropriations that occurred beginning on October 1, 2013. On October 11 ,2013, a letter was sent directing Forest Service to preserve documents potentials responsive to the Committee's oversight interests and indicating additional oversight could be expected.
Among the issues of most concern is the Forest Service's treatment of campground operators, concessionaires, and special-use permit holders who were ordered to close during this lapse in appropriations, even though they had been allowed to continue operating during previous government shutdowns. Similarly, some private businesses that operate on Forest Service land were treated differently and allowed to stay open while others were closed. No explanation has been offered for the apparently arbitrary change in policy and disparate treatment of businesses that operate on Forest Service land.
Read the entire letter HERE.