USFS visitors’ center to close |

USFS visitors’ center to close

SCOTT CONDONpitkin county correspondent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The U.S. Forest Service will close the visitors’ center in its Glenwood Springs office this year, but officials insist that is part of a plan to actually enhance contact with the public. The visitors’ center in the White River National Forest supervisor’s office on Grand Avenue could close as soon as May, according to agency spokeswoman Sally Spaulding. The space will be converted to administrative offices. Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson said the change is in line with her philosophy to reach out to the public more effectively and “not wait for people to walk in through the front door.” “I question how well we serve the public now,” she said. The supervisor’s office was never really intended to be a visitors’ center, she noted. The office is closed on weekends and nights – times when visitors’ demands for information are highest. The district ranger offices located in Aspen, Carbondale, Rifle, Meeker, Eagle and Dillon are better suited to handle visitors, according to Gustafson. Gustafson said the Forest Service’s visitors’ center won’t close in May if an alternative hasn’t been found.

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