Response to Rory Mattson's March 8 letter, "Park operations are no mystery."
I played in and loved Pioneer Trail Park before Rory was born. I've traveled the world, yet that park is among my favorite places.
Imagine how upset I was when the park "managers" cut down a half-mile swath of pines and oaks on both sides of the old dirt road to "make a good road to the new boat launch at the far end on the park by the Escanaba River" 10 years ago. They also cut a large selection of perfect oak trees to make a large parking lot for vehicles using the boat launch. The boat launch was placed where there is only about one foot deep water most of the boating season. Consequently, no one uses the boat launch or the parking lot. The "improved road" was never built. But the trees are gone.
Now Rory's people have cut another swath of trees, wherein Rory implies that these trees have been removed because of mortality and public safety reasons. Rory implies that the soil beneath these trees are not any good for "pine growing." Funny how such a grand forest developed on all 74 acres of such poor park land. The tree selection was based only on clearing an area for more trailer park space and there was not one cut down tree which would qualify as "old or a safety hazard." They were all perfect red pine trees.
Rory also argues that the Pioneer Trail trailer park is justified because federal, state and local government trailer parks abound. They all use taxpayer money, like Pioneer Trail trailer park does (it has never been profitable). I know that Rory is trying hard to make it profitable. I believe Delta County should not compete with the local trailer park businesses. I also believe that more focus should be placed on getting more than a few people in the park part of Pioneer Trail Park. There was a time when it was busy every summer weekend and even during the week. Now almost nobody comes there, basically because there was a $2 car fee for many years. The fee is gone, but still people don't go there. I think the park should be opened year around so people can do some cross country skiing among those beautiful pines.
Rory, I have done more days of volunteer work at the local, state and federal levels than you can imagine. Trying to embarrass me by telling me to get my work gloves is pathetic.
Dr. Bill Finlan