sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, May 01, 2006

.....I read with interest yesterday's N&R article on the possible sale of land in the Uwharrie National Forest. As I posted last week, I recently spent some time enjoying Uwharrie's beauty, so I don't take this issue lightly.

Of course, when I saw Jeri Rowe's byline, I expected an emotional plea on behalf of Uwharrie residents not to sell 2,317 acres of forest land. But on the whole, the piece was restrained and contained quite a bit of useful information for citizens to research and decide for themselves how they stand on this issue.

Still, a counter point of view was pretty much missing. There's got to be someone out there besides me and President Bush who don't think this is the worst idea in the world.

Fair enugh, Rowe does point out that "high-priced developments have helped diversify the county's tax base and fund services that would've been hurt by the county's job losses."

But I think the best case to make the deal came from Billy Myrick, owner of Myrick's Produce:

"There's nothing here. We've got no jobs. No textile jobs. And if they do want to come here to North Carolina, they want to go 60 miles up the road.

"And I hear it every day. 'I can't afford to get there.' And when your unemployment checks and jobs run out, what are you going to do?"

With Myrick's comments in mind, is it unreasonable to believe that limited development on former forest land would spur economic growth, especially in the fledgling eco-tourism industry? Is it not a good thing to improve the public's access to Uwharrie by providng them with places to stay and a bit of civilization after a day in the outdoors? Yeah, a lot of people like to fish, hike and mountgain bike. But a good many want a good meal and a soft bed afterwards.

Here's the way I look at it. One of my favorite places is the Creek House, located on the waterway just south of Myrtle Beach, the poster city for unlimited development. I've spent hours sitting on the deck of the Creek House at sunset, enjoying the waterway's natural beauty. Within sight are existing homes and homes under construction. They don't take away one bit from the waterway's beauty. I'm thankful for the access, and I'm glad others want access to such a wonderful place.


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