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Grand Mesa Visitor Center Closure 2024

Grand Mesa Visitor Center Closed for 2024 Due to National Forest Budget Constraints

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—In a move underscoring the chronic underfunding of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Grand Valley Ranger District has announced that the Grand Mesa Visitor Center will not open for the upcoming season. Citing budgetary and personnel constraints, this decision highlights a broader crisis facing national forests nationwide.

The Grand Mesa, known for its vast landscapes and diverse recreational opportunities, will continue to welcome visitors despite the Visitor Center’s closure. Facilities such as restrooms will remain operational, and information sandwich boards will be strategically placed around the area to guide visitors. Additionally, the existing Wi-Fi network will stay active, enabling guests to access online resources and stay connected.

Bill Edwards, the Grand Valley District Ranger, expressed regret over the closure but emphasized the availability of alternatives. “We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of forest visitors during this closure,” Edwards stated. “Information and resources are still available online or by calling our Ranger District office. We encourage recreators to plan their trip in advance and Know Before They Go.”

The closure of the Grand Mesa Visitor Center serves as a stark reminder of the funding challenges faced by the USFS. Years of budget cuts and insufficient appropriations have left many national forests struggling to maintain facilities, staff adequately, and manage resources sustainably. This has raised concerns among conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts about the long-term health and accessibility of these cherished public lands.

Advocates are calling for increased public funding and strategic investments to ensure that national forests can continue to provide essential services and preserve the ecological and recreational values they hold. As these natural treasures face growing pressures from increased visitation and environmental challenges, the need for a robust and responsive funding model becomes ever more critical.

For further information or to plan a visit, individuals are encouraged to contact the Grand Valley Ranger District at (970) 242-8211 or consult their online resources.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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