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Letters to the Editor 06/24/2015

To the Editor:

Was anyone else offended by the letter to the editor of Dianne and Thomas Hart in last week's Nugget, June 17?

They wrote "Unless I have something wrong, the [Black Butte] Ranch's paths are the Ranch's business [not that of Alan Unger, our county commissioner].

It seems arrogant that people who acknowledge they live in Corvallis think that our Deschutes County commissioners have no business considering events and impacts that happen in Deschutes County. Since when did Black Butte Ranch become its own principality?

Fear of change seems to motivate both the concerns of the Harts and also another BBR resident, Mr. Andrews (June 10). Mr. Andrews wrote "All I ask is that public paths stay off our private property." Mr. Andrews, your wish is granted. The proposed path is on Forest Service land, not private property, specifically not your private property. If someone trespasses on your private property, I encourage you to call the BBR police and report them. Mr. & Mrs. Hart, I want to point out that building a path in the woods does not constitute "inviting non-paying non-invited people into our homes." Mr. and Mrs. Hart, I have no desire to visit you. I do like the option of walking/hiking/riding in MY National Forest.

Likewise, I encourage Ms. Baker (June 10) not to be so overly dramatic in describing the effects of the path. She wrote "I oppose any type of trail that will destroy and kill thousands of animals. Frogs, deer, squirrels, lizards, elk, coyotes just to name a few would be permanently displaced or killed by destruction to the forest."

Ms. Baker, I promise to never go so fast hiking or later with my walker that I will run into an elk. I promise. Actually I, too, oppose anything that will destroy "thousands" of animals." For that reason I am a lifetime member in the Sierra Club, as well as being a member of Oregon Wild, Oregon Natural Desert Association, and the Deschutes Land Trust. I treasure our environment and see the path as a way to bring people out into nature so they will enjoy and become advocates for the land.

This is not just about having "privacy" for our homes that happen to be built within the national forests. The forest is not just for fit, young people. It is for all of us. We should all have access to our national forests.

Ken Serkownek