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Letters to the Editor 06/24/2015

To the Editor:

I think that some of the Black Butte Ranch homeowners have the trail issue backwards. These are the handful of homeowners who are convinced that somehow their safety/private property rights/privacy would be compromised if a paved multi-use trail were built from Sisters to Black Butte Ranch.

In all likelihood, many more people would be coming from the direction of BBR to Sisters than the other way around. In fact, quite a number of Ranch residents have expressed interest in and support of a paved trail that they could enjoy with their families and friends.

There is little logic to the fear that "outsiders" would help themselves to the BBR trails and ultimately the pools and tennis courts if a paved trail were constructed. Ride 8 miles to play tennis or swim in a pool when there are multiple opportunities for recreation in Central Oregon? Not likely.

I fail to see how a bike path that would end at the entrance to the Ranch, next to the highway, would impinge upon residents' privacy rights. Nothing currently prevents anybody from driving in, parking their vehicle, getting out the bikes and using the BBR trail. The idea that someone is going to break in and carry off a load of stuff or a grandchild on a bicycle is far-fetched. Short of building a 12-foot wall around the perimeter of the Ranch, there is no way to keep out all non-residents.

What I object to from some of the letters seen recently in The Nugget has to do with an underlying tone of exclusivity and patronage. Not all impacts of Black Butte Ranch onto Sisters are positive, including higher grocery store prices, traffic congestion and use of our recycling center.

We put up with the annoyances, however, because we share a reciprocal relationship.

Keep in mind that some of those people riding from Sisters on a paved bike path might actually stop in and spend money at one of the BBR restaurants, thereby helping to fund the Ranch Corporation. Sounds like a plus to me.

Let's try to be a little more community-minded and less exclusive, please.

Sarah Rahm