Attention bow hunters. The Ideal Sno Pro Club is pushing a 7-mile snowmobile trail through the Crosslake Game Refuge.
A pristine bow hunting only refuge for decades, now snowmobiles zoom by your tree stand. It's not a trail relocation. This trail is twice the length. Three different segments of road that hunters use to get access to hunting spots will be closed or become multi-use.
What's safe about sharing three narrow winding roads with snowmobilers traveling at excessive speeds? Or are they suggesting no motorized travel except snowmobiles? The trail crosses a cattail swamp to a small environmental lake with one residence. So much for privacy, but it's public water and snowmobiles have a right to zip back and forth at high speeds before getting back on trail. It then crosses the refuges deer yarding area, heading north over wetland and meeting up with the access road leading to Goodrich Lake.
What's safe about fisherman gaining access to the lake while sharing two miles of road with speeding sleds? DNR says the re-route is safer than running road ditch. Huh? Several alternative trails need to be considered. Not all club members approve. Most people support trails. Signing trails and putting them on a map before approval is bad public relations. The refuge is now open to snowmobiles and ATV's, what's the big deal?
Brush trails, sign them, place it on a map, and thousands of snowmobiles will pass through the refuge, instead of the existing few. Marked trails will encourage ATV use. The trail follows wetlands and lakes, exactly where they don't belong. This trail bypasses the businesses of Crosslake. I support trails that are afforded public input from local people and benefit what little green space is left in the Crosslake area.
On the right track
Economic growth seems to be one of the major issues with the Brainerd City Council and I believe the city council is on the right track with the desire to promote economic growth within its existing boundaries. Economic growth is good for all area residents in providing jobs, services, money transfers and stability. Economic growth can happen and should happen in the townships as well as the city. Allowing the townships to manage that growth with the county should be a viable option.
I believe the city council is on the wrong track when the only perceived method of economic growth is to take land from the surrounding townships through forced annexation. Economic growth via annexation is a gain in one entity and a loss for another entity. Economic growth can be a benefit for both the city and the townships through cooperation, mutual consent, shared resources and services.
It seems the annexation issues are being shoved at area residents so the city can continually add big sewer pipes throughout the area and feed the near capacity city wastewater treatment plant and then call that growth.
Piping wastewater throughout the county to one central location is not the answer. The city council working with the county board and township boards to manage the growth through the development of cluster systems, shared water, and power and treatment systems in the most economical and environmentally safe way is a better solution rather than the forced annexation.
Oak Lawn Township Supervisor
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.