To Whom It May Concern:

I acknowledge up front that I do not know why or for what purpose the South Hills should be closed for October.  Surely you have your reasons.  I feel at a disadvantage not knowing your reasons because they may be legitimate and warranted and more valid than my reasons for not closing access.  However, having said that, I object to your closing access to the South Hills in October.  Whenever, any government agency wishes to close public access to public lands red flags go off.  Admittedly, the general public is a little paranoid right now as we see government encroching on public liberties and public land control. We in the West are paticularly sensitive to eastern politicians interfering with western issues.  So certainly the suggestion that access to the South Hills is going to restricted may excite concerns above and beyond this single situation. October is a special time for locals to visit the South Hills.  The trees are beautiful, the weather is not so hot, the animals are more apparent and the crowds are less.  We love the South Hills in October.

Making sure that public is aware, informed and supportive of your decision is so important.  Otherwise, you encounter legitimate resistance and over-reaction from others.  Perhaps there is a very good reason for your intent to close access to the South Hills and if here is then we (the general public and owners of the South Hills) need to both understand and support you.  If your intent does not meet with our understanding and support then I don’t believe you should unilaterally proceed.  It is our land, the care of the land is our responsibility, the enjoyment of our land is our pereogative and privilege.  If you try to unilaterally take that away from us then you are stepping outside your mandate.  Please take the time to ensure that we the resident public are informed  why you wish to proceed and then please wait and give sufficient time for you to receive the necessary feedback that you require before proceeding.  That would work so much better.

Kent Pilling Ph.D.

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