and it seems to be a financial issue more than any other. Our camp within the GWNF is near a fire road which has been gated for at least 15 years. Reason: two washouts on the road over the years where the road traverses the river/stream. They apparently cannot get funding to 1) repair and 2) continue to maintain the fire road at these two water crossings. Only option is the gates get closed.
The reality is if the USFS needs it to fight a fire, it's still usable for that purpose as the damage is not bad enough to prevent their vehicles from passing through.
On a side note, it was fun to hear the USFS folks implicate the horseback users as doing the most damage (versus motorcycles, etc).
Thanks for sharing the links!