Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Coast to Crest Trail a worthy career highlight

Congratulations to Mary Kay Vandiver on her retirement from the Forest Service "Looking back on 11 years in NRA," Jan. 7. Mary Kay has done an outstanding job over the last 11 years as district ranger for the Smith River National Recreation Area.

I was pleased to read that Mary Kay considers the Coast to Crest Trail as a highlight of her service. As the Coast to Crest Trail project manager for the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, I want to thank Mary Kay for her unwavering support and dedication to the completion of this project.

In 2003, the Forest Service funded a feasibility study (Rose Foundation/Plan West 2004) and in 2007, the state of California awarded an $846,000 grant to the Rose Foundation to re-construct the trail. This summer we will finish restoration and the trail will be open for business.

When the Coast to Crest Trail is completed, it will provide a world-class hiking experience, leading50 miles along sections of the historic Kelsey Trail, from the Crescent City Coast to Harrington Mountain, in the Siskiyou Wilderness.

Nature and heritage tourism is the fastest-growing sector in the tourism industry. If we capitalize on our natural assets, grow visitor-serving businesses and develop our tourism infrastructure, we can turn our public lands into an economic advantage for our community.

This year brings the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Siskiyou Wilderness. It's time for us to celebrate this visionary effort to protect our pristine rivers and wild mountain areas. We should embrace this as an opportunity to promote our county as an international travel destination.

To those who still do not recognize the value of nature tourism for our community, my advice is, "Go, take a hike!"

Kevin Hendrick,Crescent City

Finigan's assertion speaks ill of Jefferson supporters

I am embarrassed that, in his zeal to deny us the right of representation through the state of Jefferson, Supervisor David Finigan insulted our sister counties' supervisors. Referring to Siskiyou, Modoc and Tehama counties at Tuesday's Board meeting ("Supervisors defer issue of new state," Jan. 16), he remarked that Del Norte County "can be the first county to have a real, intelligent discussion as to what we're doing."

Mr. Finigan's implication was that the supervisors from these counties approved the Jefferson declaration without an "intelligent discussion."

It is precisely this elitist attitude among our elected officials that we wish to leave behind us as we move toward Jefferson. Supervisor Finigan is very proud of his relationship with Gov. Jerry Brown, who is attached to big government power brokers in Sacramento, but this doesn't give him license to slander his fellow small-county supervisors.

Over 1,000 (and counting) Del Norte voters have placed their names, addresses and signatures on a petition calling upon the Board of Supervisors to support the State of Jefferson Declaration. In the Triplicate's independent online opinion poll this week, respondents were overwhelmingly supporting the state of Jefferson by more than 85 percent. As an elected official, it is Supervisor Finigan's duty to represent the electorate, not to ignore its will by leading the charge against this solution to Sacramento's abuse of Northern Californians.

If Supervisor Finigan doesn't like the idea of losing his connections to Sacramento, so be it. Let him cast his vote in a Board meeting. But please spare us the smoke screens and double talk of lengthy, unilateral studies rising from the very bureaucratic swamp from which we are trying to escape.

Let's have that special public Board meeting as soon as possible and an up or down vote at the next regular meeting.

Chuck Tweed,Crescent City