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This discussion about fishing in Spirit Lake needs to be placed in a larger context. The National Volcanic Monument is under assault from all sides. Substantial development of vacation homes has occurred on the south side and massive amounts more have been proposed. A square mile on the NW boundary was recently sold by Weyerhaeuser for development. The Citizens Advisory Committee, which is dominated by people whose job it is to ensure economic development and security of nearby communities, has recommended new roads, trails, campgrounds, visitor facilities, and other forms of use and exploitation within or at the margins of the monument. The Monument is not large enough to accomodate all of the proposed activity without severe degradation of its natural resources. From the outset, the monument was not large enough to protect natural recovery processes, but at least it was buffered by relatively low intensity use of forestlands at the edges of the monument, this buffer is shrinking. If greater recreational use is to occur, the area set aside for recreational use and protected from more intensive harvest and other uses needs to expand by enlarging the Monument. It seems to me that environmentalists, conservationists, and recreational users of all stripes, and even those seeking greater economic return from the monument, could find some common ground on this.
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
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