03/26/2017: "-- Guest Column --"
By Jay Ibold
Since my family moved to San Juan in 1999 the options for hiking have grown in a big way. Many of the trails were there well before my time, but the acquisitions (and labor) of the National Parks, the Land Bank, and volunteer trails committees have created a wonderful, cohesive network of well marked and maintained trails.
One of my favorite walks starts with a section of Lawson Road, then (a not so well marked) path around Lawson Quarry and then on up to amazing vistas of the Land Bank's latest property purchase.
The sign at the West Valley Road entrance to this stunning parcel says 'Mt. Grant' but I'm writing this to point out to our community that this property is (and always will be) regarded to by many of us by it's actual name, Lawson Ridge.
How many generations of islanders grew up exploring the epic woods, swimming/fishing the ponds, hiking up for the amazing views, riding horses and dirt bikes, camping, deer hunting? To those of us it's always been Lawson's. I have no idea how many decades this property was Lawson land (as long as most of the oldest islander's I've met can remember).
I applaud the Land Bank for preserving Lawson Ridge from residential development. Congrats! That's huge. But to the Land Bank, you've ignored the historical island legacy of a hugely significant and influential island family by re-branding one of our most treasured natural resources. That's shameful, arrogant, and disrespectful in my book.
Hey Islanders! Get out and walk our wonderful trails and feel good about saying, "See you on Lawson Ridge."