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Letter: Room for both multi-use trail and a campground

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Mr. Stensing has voiced several concerns in relation to the multi use trail project in Waskish and I feel both sides of this matter should be presented. I would like to look at the reasoning behind Mr. Stensing's agenda.

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One phrase I have seen Mr. Stensing use repeatedly is "affect their outdoor experience." This phrase has been used to attack a project that does not fit Mr. Stensing's ideals. Stensing misconstrues the facts of the situation. A state highway on its westerly border, the Tamarac River on its northern and easterly border along with public boat ramps directly across the river from said campground or SRA currently borders the Big Bog Campground. Now to say a multi-use trail that serves hikers, bicyclists, ATVs and even wheelchairs is going to disrupt or change the current outdoor experience within the campground is completely ludicrous.

To achieve Mr. Stensing's perception of the outdoor experience, state officials would have to shut down all noise related traffic traveling on State Highway 72. This would include private, public and commercial traffic. The campground is on the immediate edge of the state Highway 72 right of way close enough to spoil the "outdoor experience." The Minnesota DNR would need to close both public boat ramps on the Tamarac River along with any travel upon the Tamarac River within earshot of the campground to silence the sound of boat motors or excited anglers to achieve Mr. Stensing's "outdoor experience."

A multi-use trail is not going to devastate or even alter the current atmosphere of the area it will travel. What a multi-use trail will accomplish is provide safe passage through the community for anyone not traveling via automobile. Currently the only option is the shoulder of busy state Highway 72.

We truly need to put the safety of our community at the forefront and not push it aside to achieve personal vendettas toward any one group.

Jonathan Petrowske

Waskish

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