I'm strongly of the opinion that the forest should be open. But, in truth there is quite a bit more work to be done on the trails . . .
In the conversations I've had with forest service folks (mostly during trail work sessions), the biggest single concern seems to be safety/liability.
I agree with your sentiment. I wonder how serious they are about liability. they opened the forest this year on Memorial Day, and within two weeks a man died because he can't find the trail and there are NO signs, NO websites or other resources to find trail conditions, and NO ONE can tell you anything if you call the FS station. In fact most of the time you get voicemail messages that say all the mailboxes are full and you can't leave a message.
I found the dead hiker and it is very clear to me that the awful trail condition (you can hardly find it even if you know where it is) was a major factor in his death.http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/i ... highlight=
The poor man ended up in Vasquez creek, missing one shoe and his glasses, and descended unsafely down eight waterfalls before he died. You can get water here but you can't get out. Sadly, had he found the right trail, there was also water available there on the west fork of Vasquez creek. The trail has weeds over your head and more trees falling all of the time. We trampled some with search and rescue, but it is terrible.
I also hiked fox-condor trail, and the condition down from fox to stonyvale is pretty sketchy too.