Letters to the Editor

Let’s make sure hunting can occur in new Maury Island park

I would like to add my congratulations regarding the county and the activist groups reaching a deal to purchase the Maury Island mine property. As a Gold Beach resident, I appreciate all of the efforts over the years to address this issue. I hope that funding can be found to allow the sale to close.

Assuming that the sale closes, I would like to suggest that the interested parties consider a land use designation other than “park” for this property, so that hunting could be allowed. A shared use of this property seems appropriate, and controlling the deer population on the Island requires some open space in which hunting is allowed. Our garden fortresses could use a break, and it doesn’t do the deer any favors to allow overpopulation.

In light of the recent change preventing hunting in Island Center Forest, it seems appropriate to consider designating the mine site as “open space” or some other land use designation that does not prohibit hunting. With clear signage from the beginning of the change in property status from private to public, perhaps the same confusion as occurred at Island Center Forest could be avoided. As with signs used on DNR land, the signs could prohibit shooting (i.e., target practice), but allow hunting under state law.

During hunting season it would be incumbent on all users to exercise due caution in accordance with the law.

I realize that recreational use of this property is already common. However, until county purchase of the property, such use is trespassing anyway.

— Michael Meyer

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