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ATVs shouldn’t be on Brockway Mountain

To the Journal editor:

Say it’s not so, ATVs on Brockway Mountain Drive! This “jewel that crowns Michigan” is without question a very special place. Thousands of visitors agree. ATVs there are not safe or compatible to land-use and eco-tourism. ATVs should have many miles of woodland trails in Keweenaw County. There are already more than 100 miles signed and marked in little Keweenaw County. Every activity does not have to be allowed everywhere and should not for good reasons.

Neighbors, all voters, asked me to “speak out” for them; I’ll try. This green beret paratrooper veteran is too senior for efforts to intimidate and silence succeed. I take responsibility for my words without apprehension. I am one of the “we” in the words on our coins and paper currency.

Most people have a sincere awareness of stewardship and respect for a Brockway that is relatively wild and undeveloped, preserved as-is, open to the public forever. A unique place to make memories that last a lifetime, saved for generations yet born. Your grandkids will thank us. A huge asset for Keweenaw County, the Copper Country and Michigan to grow eco-tourism. A “million dollar” view of Lake Superior, unforgettable sunsets. The highest elevation you can drive your auto over in the Midwest. An opportunity for visitors to breathe air they can’t see, clean and pure. A place to heal your soul and regain sanity. A true “dark sky” to view stars. A mountaintop to experience priceless quietness. An outstanding bird-watching flyway and so much more.

Yes, Brockway Drive needs repair. Mr. Patrick works wonders without adequate funding. Safety issues are serious; growing use by hikers, bicycles, autos and motorhomes all on a narrow winding road with many ups and downs become a nightmare if ATVs are permitted. Lack of shoulder on much of the drive make ATVs dangerous. Wildflowers and endangered plants on roadside will be destroyed. ATVs would greatly detract and degrade the Brockway experience, causing considerable damage and increasing maintenance costs. Both access ends are very dangerous blind curves on M-26. Come see yourself and judge. Could responsible officials allow ATVs on Brockway? Incomprehensible, safety first!

Thanks for the opportunity to raise public awareness. Will caring, concerned people speak out? Perhaps you, as editor? Again, thanks.

Don Keith

Eagle Harbor