We don’t need heli tours

With the crash last month of a helicopter sightseeing flight in Hawaii that killed all on board, we are reminded of how dangerous these operations are. This was the second fatal crash in Hawaii this year. In April a Robinson R-44 crashed, killing everyone on board. There have been 16 other helicopter crashes in Hawaii in the last five years. Compare this to the record of commercial air operations.

We simply do not need the type of helicopter operations proposed by Wind River Aviation in this valley. Incidentally, the proposal contemplates the use of a Robinson R-44 helicopter, the same type that crashed on Oahu in April.

In addition to the risk these types of flights pose, there is simply no argument that there is any community benefit to this proposed service. It will create nothing but an additional burden on our already overtaxed wilderness. Only a handful of tourists will take these flights, while tens of thousands of residents, visitors and animals will be inconvenienced and disturbed.

The noise and visual assault these flights will create will only degrade the outdoor experience those who created our national parks and national forests envisioned. I strongly urge the community to resist this proposal.

Chuck Koob

Jackson

Just don’t trap there

I would like to bring up a few thoughts I feel are being overlooked regarding traps up Cache Creek.

Firstly, the U.S. Forest Service’s mission regarding public lands states that they manage and sustain for current and future generations. They “care for the lands of the people,” not the person. Many people encompass a generation. I do not feel it is right for anyone to claim public lands as “mine.” They are ours.

Secondly, to the trapper: You chose to move into this community. It is the individual’s responsibility to learn what it means to be a good community member. The person who bags your groceries, the driver who plows the roads you use, the postal worker who delivers your mail — they all make up this community, and they all use Cache Creek to exercise their dogs. For decades this community has utilized these public lands to walk, run, bike and ski with their dogs. It is disrespectful for anyone to show up and put community members and their pets at risk. Cache Creek belongs to the people, not the individual.

If you were to move your traps up the drainage a few miles and post signs to inform the folks who go that far, then you would be utilizing public lands in a responsible way. Ditch Creek is an example of where trapping is going on without an uproar. It’s away from common use, and signs have been appropriately posted. Might I point out that with the constant disturbance of loose dogs and activities you would likely have greater success trapping in a less populated area.

Thirdly, for those who oppose trapping: If someone utilizes their right to trap on public lands and you mess with their traps, you are also responsible for putting our dogs at risk by contributing to the attitude of “It’s my land and I can do what I want.” Leave the traps alone, and fight that battle through the appropriate authorities. Don’t put the hard work of organizations and individuals who are fighting these battles appropriately at risk by doing something illegal. I remind some folks that trapping and hunting are what allowed people to settle the area, and without them none of us would be here.

Public lands are for the people, not the person.

Kate Winters

Jackson

Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a town of residence and a telephone number for verification. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. No thank yous or political endorsement letters. Guest Shot columns are limited to 800 words. Email editor@jhnewsandguide.com.

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