I worked for a conservation agency for over 27 years and am well aware of the importance of habitat for our natural resources. However, our natural resources are supposed to be managed for a multiple use — not for just one single purpose. That means for us humans also.
I seriously doubt if anyone in the present watershed organization ever saw Traverse City years ago when the “natural” waterfront was not overgrown with trees, shrubs and weeds. It was one beautiful, sandy beach all along West Bay to the peninsula.
And think of this, not any of the waterfowl or other animals that they want this present eyesore to continue became extinct. They found more appropriate places for their habitat. Additionally, we are boaters and visit several nice ports along Lake Michigan. They all have beautiful, inviting waterfronts that enhance this beautiful area we are blessed to either live in or visit and enjoy.
We strongly support the action of the Slabtown Association and agree 100 percent with their goal of returning this waterfront to the open, beautiful area it could be for everyone to enjoy. The present condition of this area is nothing less than a disgrace to Traverse City.
I have seen over a few years some reports about a Slabtown neighborhood association’s efforts to gain permission for the disturbance of the shoreline generally in the area of Elmwood Avenue extended. I have been pretty sure science has concluded the current configuration of soils and vegetation here benefits the natual world in which we and our children must live. This view has, I believe, been persuasive enough to have been instituted into laws for the protection of the lakeshore.
Therefore, it is hard for me to believe some local officials want to accede to the Slabtown group and disturb this shore community as reported in the Record-Eagle June 2. On moral grounds they could protect the shore here and provide an example to their children. But, if only as political hacks they might want to consider that they can only be sure that the Slabtown association represents a majority of those in attendance at association meetings. This is probably a small portion of west-side residents and certainly a very small portion of all city residents.
Bryan H. Smith