"If this kind of proliferation continues, which it looks like it will when Laverty gets out here, I predict that we'll have uniform saturation [of Forest Service land] within two decades."
Laverty wouldn't call it "uniform saturation," but he does speak of big numbers.
"We estimate that by the year 2045 we'll have 1.2 billion recreational visits to our national forests," he says. "The question we have to address is, how do we prepare for that kind of use while making sure that the resource which draws these visitors is protected? We're going to find limits on what the land can sustain.
"I look at it like an opera house. There are only so many seats available, and when you exceed that, you've got to change the seating structure. Are we going to turn people away or build stadium seating?