Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

What is the real intent?

We live in a gorgeous valley with a world class river running through the middle of it. The river runs through both private and public land which limits the access to the public portions. Public access is our right and we must defend and preserve that privilege for the future generations. Good access is very limited and it looks to me like we the public are at risk of losing what we all consider a tremendous public treasure.

 

One of the best public access points on the entire river is the existing access at the Stevensville bridge. In coordination with the Town of Stevensville, FWP is offering to fund the development of a first class FWP fishing access site. Paved boat launching area, restrooms, picnic tables and parking area, establishing a safe area for all users.

 

There has been a concerted effort underway for many months now, to NOT accept the FWP site and instead ask the Town to build an access point on the river that would be several hundred yards downstream from the current bridge site. This is now undeveloped Town land that would require a huge effort and expense without the FWP, to create even a small limited use area.

 

The group making the effort includes some or maybe all of the town council, plus some town folks. They are claiming their efforts are not political, and claim to be bipartisan. Well, I’m not so sure, as the facts would seem to indicate quite the opposite. They claim to have public access as the main focus and purpose of their efforts. These are folks that have worked hard in years past for public rights to public access. But now they would seem to have an objective beyond what they are telling us.

 

They claim their downstream location offers the best solution, while the facts show what they prefer is a much smaller location that will have limited capacity. Not more user friendly, not more accessible, not better parking. What they seem to desire is actually going to limit public access, not create more. This site will not accommodate the general public needs, instead it will restrict them.

 

The intent now seems clear to me. In generations to come this will limit the public use of the river, not enhance it. The general public will be denied the benefit of an outstanding treasure. Why do they not want more public access? Urge this group and the town council to accept the current bridge site. The proposed land swap is a win-win solution for everyone! Maximum public access protected forever. Please, do not let this opportunity for premier public access pass us by based on the decision of a few. Speak up for your public access rights.

 

Rep. Ed Greef, HD-88
Florence

4 Responses to What is the real intent?
  1. Mike in Stevensville
    July 27, 2017 | 5:11 pm

    Ed Greef, so, if I’m understanding you correctly, you say initially in your piece “The group making the effort includes some or maybe all of the town council, plus some town folks”… referring to your words of “There has been a concerted effort underway for many months now, to NOT accept the FWP site”. When I ask you for names of said people and group, you reply “Mike – If you don’t already know these folks, I suggest start your visit with mayor Jim Crews and the town council.” >it seems to me some fraudulent intent by said people and group is occurring?<

    Are you implying you want me to visit the very people you seem to suggest are causing the problem? I'm not trying to give you a hassle; I'm simply trying to understand specifically who the people are and the group you refer to that are the issue here. (I'm not a fan of 'implying' and 'suggestions', so if you could be 'simply direct', I'd appreciate the clarity.)

    It's quite obvious to me that that several things are happening here: Private property is being continually trespassed upon, local law enforcement doesn't seem to be doing a darn thing about it, and the property owner's attempts to reach what seems to be the most reasonable compromise for everyone seems to be completely disregarded.

    It seems to me from reading local papers (and even this piece by you) that the majority of Stevi town council and mayor seem intent on literally just running amok on and taking private property. I say this after reading a recent article in this paper about the Stevi mayor attempting to justifying these actions based on nothing more than literally an old newspaper article stating nothing more than an empty (and illegal) proclamation. I refer to the article "Stevensville River Park is a park Posted on May 31, 2017".

    So, the way I see it, we have a town council/mayor illegally attempting to take over the private property of a Citizen, the town and county law enforcement will not stop trespassing issues (and worse yet, not even responding to!) on said private property, and now a state representative is chiming in with mostly generic and seemingly legitimate accusations against what seems to be illegal special interests?

    If I'm correct in my observations and suggestions, I call on you, Mr Greef, do do your job for this Citizen by upholding laws and cleaning house on said public servants. If I'm wrong, please enlighten and correct me.

    As for Sherry's comments, I'm not sure I agree I agree with her that simply. She's leaving out some details, such as a proposed land swap that was offered by the landowner, as well as what Rep Greef states about the FWP site proposal. The question in my mind is why would an offer be made by the town if said 'Stevensville River Park is a park proclamation' was in fact legally binding? Also, just because an offer was made to buy, doesn't mean a sale must occur (because if this is the way it's supposed to be, I hereby offer Sherry $1 for her most expensive vehicle). Further, it seems lots of people piping in on this want a private property landowner to freely give away property for others, yet these people wanting this are not offering their private property up at all.

    The current reality is this: A Citizen's legal private property rights are being disregarded and illegally trampled on by both Citizens and Government. All the people screaming 'do it! do it!' better wake up, because they're next in line for it be to done to.

  2. Sherry
    July 26, 2017 | 8:24 pm

    Representative Greef states that, “They claim to have public access as the main focus and purpose of their efforts…But now they would seem to have an objective beyond what they are telling us.” I’d say those of us who have attended Stevensville Town Council meetings and written letters were very open about our objectives, and for many of us, it was all about public access. The proposal would have traded away almost a third of the public Stevensville River Park, putting that 8+ acres into private ownership resulting in loss of public access to both the beautiful river bottom forest and the river frontage. The landowner was offered an outright purchase of the fishing access site, but refused any offer except the one that gained him the river frontage. No one at the meetings spoke against having a fishing access site.

  3. Ed Greef
    July 26, 2017 | 8:20 pm

    Mike – If you don’t already know these folks, I suggest start your visit with mayor Jim Crews and the town council. They’re a good contact to find the like minded folks. Ed Greef

  4. Mike in Stevensville
    July 25, 2017 | 3:36 pm

    What is the name of this ‘group’ and who are ‘they’ that are in it? names would be quite helpful here.

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