Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Thu, June 17

Letters to the Editor<br>

Closing lakes prohibits use

To the editor:

We are writing to let you know how we feel about closing access to many of the lakes in the Williams area, especially Kaibab Lake.

I called to get the facts about the closures prior to writing this letter. However, I found them to be an unsatisfactory excuse for those closures.

I worked for the Forest Service many years ago. I worked for rangers there that would have moved heaven and earth to keep the forests open for their public, people like us, the taxpayers that enjoy the woods all year long. They would have been appalled at all the woods that have been closed to the people that enjoy them over the years.

We are outdoor people that often would drive into Kaibab Lake just to watch the bald eagles that would frequent the area. We put our boat out any time there would be a break in the ice and would have the opportunity to catch some holdover trout. We often would drive in for an hour or two to throw a few flies and catch a few fish for dinner. Us, as well as other local fishermen would often ice fish off the dock. I know that fishing isn’t an option this year due to the drought, but we can’t even drive in to see the lakes full now.

Closing the lakes sounds ok as the main camping season is in the summer, but it isn’t for everyone. We have camped out at White Horse in early April, boating in open water along the crunching ice still on the lakes. We don’t often go to the lakes in the summer when they are full of campers, noisy and the fish taste like mud.

Closing these lakes to access was ignorant as many of us enjoy our woods year round. I truly feel that there should always be camping open to people, even if it is just a few campsites. I think it is very unfair to penalize the general public over problems a few bad campers caused. Also we understand that money is the other issue. If you had left some of the campgrounds true campgrounds, they wouldn’t cost as much to maintain. The campgrounds now are cushy and frilly and cost a lot to maintain.

Please reconsider your decision and recognize that this is an area of outdoors people, that enjoy something as simple as a drive into a lake to see the birds, throw a fly or two, or take a walk along the waters’ edge.

Dennis and Carol Johnson


(Editor’s note: This letter was also sent to the Kaibab National Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish, Congressman Rick Renzi and Senator John McCain.)

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