Letter to the Editor – March 31

I read with great interest the letter from Eric Stevens in the March 24 edition of The Times regarding the delay in re-opening Cook Lake. It’s not surprising that he has been stonewalled by government officials. I too have been wondering if it will EVER be reopened. Let me ask a hypothetical question to the readers: What is the incentive to reopen? The answer? None. It’s the government. They own it. They control it. No, it’s not “public land” as so many people are fooled into calling it. The mythical “public” does not own it. The federal government does. This is true of our “public” schools as well. We don’t own/control them. The government does. We have no say.

How different it would be if a private entity owned the Cook Lake area, such as a KOA. Do you think they would simply close it off while twiddling their thumbs? Or do you think they might take action as Mr. Stevens suggests, that perhaps they could open it during certain seasons, or perhaps fence off the one small area of concern and open the rest (like the lake itself)? Of course they would! They would have a financial incentive. The government has none. This is always the case. Without incentive and competition there’s no reason for improvement or accommodating the visitors. Much easier just to hang a yellow “CLOSED” sign on the Forest Service signs in the area, sit back at your desk, put your feet up, and collect your paycheck. This is exactly the reason why there is a movement afoot to privatize the millions of acres of federally owned land in the West. When was the last time you heard of the IRS, EPA, TSA, FDA, or ATF making improvements for the benefit of the citizens? I’m waiting…

Mac Frank