Great info to know Ian and getting some representatives on our side sounds like a path we should be taking. I think you're analysis is exactly correct on their approach and considering budget implications etc obviously makes sense to them. I just got off the phone with the Forest Supervisor and found out there is actually still a chance the road will open! It's basically up to when the loggers can/want to get in there. I guess in there contract they only have to give the FS 72 hours of notification before they want to start logging and his decision is to have it closed while they are logging due to various dangers. He was worried about people camping in there for days at a time and then getting stuck cause he only would have 72 hours to clear the area.
He was super amenable and was glad that I reminded him of how paddlers view the run/the timing of it and remembered talking to you about the same stuff multiple times before and the gate opening earlier (even your last name which he was super proud of). He also took my suggestion of trying to find a way of imposing a limit on camping days or even of just opening it to day use only so it would be easy to close the gate and not lock anybody in when the time came. I made it clear that a pretty large user group would be very very appreciative if it was just open for even the first couple of weekends in July and that seemed to give him something to chew on in terms of opening for a short period of time if at all possible.
I don't think a few more amiable and PROFESIONAL phone calls and/or emails voicing something similar would hurt and would probably help him feel good about opening it in July, even if just to day use and even if just for a couple of weeks. The FS number there is 970-295-6700 and his name and email are Kevin Atchley email@example.com
If you make a phone call or write an email please, please do not be an asshole here, it's just not a good tactic in these kind of negotiations and they really aren't trying to frustrate us/drive us crazy with this stuff on purpose, they're just trying to do their job and if we can help inform them in a friendly manner with what we'd like to see happen, it appears, in this situation at least, we may just get it. Again the main points to hit on are
1) The greatness of the run
2) The timing of the run (the first couple of weekends the gate usually opens are generally the best
3) The possibility of allowing just day use or only limited camping days to make clearing the area easier
Don't take up too much of his time or flood him with a ton of this stuff but I do think a few more calls and emails would probably help the cause for this year at least.