People asked to respect others, land, resources

Dear editor: 

God has blessed us with one the most beautiful places on Earth. I know we have quite a few new people in the area and we receive more visitors each weekend. First, welcome. We are glad to have you. We want you to enjoy everything God has created. However, we do ask that you respect the people, land, and resources. That includes the private property and farms. Many of our farms have been in our families for generations.

Contrary to popular belief, being a landowner does not equate to being wealthy. Rarely does a day go by without someone telling me about people trespassing and leaving trash everywhere. Lately, this has been a major issue on the White and Kings Rivers. Those of us who live adjacent to the national forest face trespassing and littering issues, as well. By law, the public has access to and use of the rivers and public lands. However, adjacent landowners are not required to allow access across their land. Many of us do, but that can change quickly.

Here are some general guidelines.

• Stay out of the fields. That grass is cut for hay to feed the cattle which feed our families. 

• Stop cutting “donuts” in the roads. For you, it is a playground. For us, it is how we get home. The county does not have the money or time to keep fixing the damage you’re causing.

• Put in and take out at public access points (or, here’s a thought, ask the landowner for permission)

• Stay on the river or National Forest.

• Do not get drunk and mouth off to the landowners asking you to respect their property (I can’t believe I had to write that one).

• Please don’t drink to excess or do drugs (yep, it’s pretty common).

Please follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principles.

1. plan ahead and prepare,

2. travel and camp on durable surfaces,

3. dispose of waste properly,

4. leave what you find, (you can pick up the trash, we’d all appreciate it)

5. minimize campfire impacts,

6. respect wildlife,

7. be considerate of other visitors.

If these problems persist, access points to the rivers and national forest will continue to decrease. Landowners will be forced to restrict access even further.

This goes for our natives, too. Maybe no one ever taught you.

Semper Fidelis,

–Billy Gregory