In 2000 I returned to Montana after four years overseas and tried to access my old haunts in the mountains. To my surprise, I kept running into gates and blocked roads.
In the latter part of the Clinton administration, the Forest Service began closing or obliterating roads throughout the national forest system, arguing that they didn't have the money to maintain them, or that they were detrimental to wildlife and the environment.
Is this still going on, or have conditions improved in the last two years? Seems to me this is an attempt by the environmental lobby to close off the land to everyone but the granola-eating backpacking crowd.