Count on me to not show up. I've just drawn a line. I can't change society, but I don't have to participate in the slide downhill. Why is it that it's assumed that the "healthy eating" crowd is also the socially liberal crowd? It's not cutting edge to be lewd any more. When the majority is trashy, you stand out by being clean. What a shame. A retro 1950s look would have appealed to those who wish we could turn back the moral clock (and I wasn't born in the 50's).
Obviously there are other remedies for overpopulation...that the "loose coalition of concerned citizens" (that's plural so I have to assume there were at least two of them) should consider. We could reintroduce grizzlies, mountain lions, wolves...or even all those excess pit bulls to help control the deer population. By leaving the population unchecked they would be begging for a huge boom in the local coyote population. I wonder what both of the concerned citizens would think of that? Since we as humans choose not to have predators running loose in our residential areas it is our responsibility to take their place...since we are, after all predators. (Sorry all you vegetarians...until you get your eyes to grow on the sides of your head instead of the front you are still classified as meat eaters). Deer who are never hunted become very casual about human contact and become more and more of a threat. An occasional hunt keeps the deer wary and they work much harder at avoiding human contact (including those in vehicles).A 120 lb. deer would make a heck of a dent in the front of a light weight electric car. I think of deer as "free range cattle"...no steroids or additives and they live a happy pastoral life right up until they end up on the plate instead of rotting on the side of the road. Nobody works harder than hunters and the WMA at making sure the deer population is healthy and happy. The "Concerned Citizens" should leave it to the people who have devoted their lives to properly managing herds.
Proud of everyone involved. There are a lot of good people out there that we never hear about. Thanks for telling this story.
As a horseman who rides trails a LOT I have been burning a lot of gas to train at the new Dry Creek Trail System. It's amazing how much farther ahead Georgia and even Alabama are than Southeast Tennessee when it comes to realizing what a valuable resource our natural areas are. I already know 2 Floridians and a South Georgian who have purchased land near the Dry Creek System for cabins or summer homes. Chattanooga has an equally valuable resource nearby, the Prentice Cooper State Forest which has nothing but heavily graveled roads and no parking at the valley level. A valuable Rails to Trails project in the Red Bank area was stopped by local officials who are apparently oblivious to the need for trails and their financial and health benefits. Marion County officials area actually ahead of Chattanooga (the city for outdoor fun!) in promoting a trail system to connect Chattanooga and Marion County across Prentice Cooper State Forest. I'm glad the Free Press considered this new trail opportunity an important announcement and hope they will help politicians recognize that Chattanooga's Ace card is promoting its outdoor opportunities.
As a republican I find Skillern's position unfathomable. There is no downside to this project. This is a case of individuals taking charge and making a positive contribution without demanding government money. It's even a project that will be a huge plus for an area that has been experiencing a great deal of negative PR and a tragic loss of businesses. Add to that the fact that we are being bombarded by government campaigns to encourage Americans to go outdoors and be more active to combat the epidemic of diabetes and obesity and the only question should be how can we promote MORE of these projects in our area? Just this week Chattanooga hosted the National Trails Convention. We WANT to be known as a town with outdoor opportunities! UTC has spent millions building a new facility to include whitewater rafting, rock climbing, etc to attach itself to this positive image bandwagon. Chattanooga has spent millions on the River Walk, and now Red Bank and Soddy Daisy have the opportunity to offer their residents a no cost recreational opportunity for their area and this backwards politician is standing in our way! Go to Chickamauga Battlefield any Saturday and see the constant flow of hikers, trail runners, and horsemen enjoying the one trail in this entire area that is not either up or down extremely challenging terrain. This is a mountainous area and flat land is in very short supply. An abandoned railroad bed is a very rare opportunity for some of us to enjoy a flat ride or jog. The fact that the trail will cross several roads is a huge plus. If there were only one access point in 6 miles the area right around the entrance would bear a huge percentage of the traffic on the trail. By crossing roads at several points it offers bicyclists and walkers the opportunity to walk or ride different areas on different days and makes use of the entire trail. I suggest Mr. Skillern take a look at the success of the Pinhoti trail in Georgia. It crosses the state going on and off of major roads for hundreds of miles. It has been a huge boost to the economy and is heavily used. I often drive an hour and a half to access this trail simply because nothing like it is available in this area. Please Mr. Skillern, you may be happy to sit in a chair indoors all year but there are those of us who use the outdoors. We aren't asking for anything from you except that you get out of our way.