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Reconsider river access vote

arkcanoeAn Eagle article last week showed again how misguided the Sedgwick County Commission was in backing off support for public access sites to the Arkansas River. At the urging of some landowners, the commission voted last month to halt all work on the project from 53rd Street North to the county line. But the commission didn't properly consider the views of the public, which actually owns the river and wants to be able to utilize it. Nor did it apparently consider all the work that other local governments and groups have done on this 105-mile project, or the desire of the city of Maize to have an access site near it.

The decision was also based on the false fear that providing access points would increase trespassing on private land. As canoeist and WE blogger Ben Huie noted, "the more citizens we get on the river, the more eyes we will have watching the river."

Commission Chairman Kelly Parks and Commissioner Karl Peterjohn seem ideologically opposed to the access project and unable to listen to reason. But the three other commission members should be willing to reconsider the issue and reverse course.

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