LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lake access project raises some questions


I would like to make an observation. As I was traveling around South Movil Lake Drive, I came across an obvious disturbance that caught my eye. It was the lake access project clearing on a lot that Northern Township purchased and had proposed. I had heard about this project a while ago but never got involved, so I claim ignorance in the history of this proposal. However, having some interest in these projects, I can say how shocked I was in everything I saw.

First of all, the location is in a quiet neighborhood on a blacktopped road. The specific location is below a hill that will conflict with traffic coming from the west. The lot size seems very small to support a turnaround access and parking. Secondly, what kind of professional environmental review was done and by whom? The clearing slopes down to an existing wetland, which takes up approximately one-third of the total area. It appears this wetland must be destroyed and filled in order to complete this project. If a resident of Beltrami County proposed some kind of development at this particular location, I am sure they would be denied, which they should be.

I am all for development and maintenance of public accesses, but they should go through the proper review by credible professionals. Many questions come to mind about this project. What type of reviews were done? It seems to lack basic science, safety concerns and proper location or design. Did someone pull strings on this one?

As one who is concerned about boat accesses, how come it has taken so long for the DNR waters division to repair the Northwoods boat access on Lake Bemidji? I think the north ramp has been closed since ice out and still remains unusable to this date. Maybe we should spend less taxpayer money on boat inspections and more on maintenance.

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