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Home » Archives » November 2011 » American Camp Driftwood Forts

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11/17/2011: "American Camp Driftwood Forts"


I gotta tell you, I don’t often write letters to the editor about articles in the newspaper. Let me correct that statement. I have NEVER written a letter to the editor about articles in the newspaper. But I’m really steamed and maybe venting will make me feel better, although I doubt it will make a difference to the “Feds” that run American Camp.

What’s up with tearing down those “dangerous and unsightly” driftwood forts in American Camp? I can just hear the pride in Ranger Lewis’s voice. Dads and Moms be forewarned. No more helping your kids build driftwood forts. You’ll just have to find other ways of helping develop your child’s brain capacity through creative play. You don’t want to see some gun totting Park Ranger walking down the beach towards you, ready to ruin your family’s day.

Lewis said recreation is a “lesser priority” at American Camp than in local and state parks (ya think?) and he has seen more bald eagles in the park since issuing citations, rather than warnings, beginning in early spring. Those bald eagles must have been pretty bawdy this past spring and had a lot more babies than usual, because we know that eagles are migratory and usually return to the area where they were born. Maybe Barry Lewis just wants to feel better about driving the locals away from enjoying American Camp.

I worked for the federal government as a manager and executive for over 31 years. I know how vicious compliance and enforcement of the rules can get you noticed, and often times promoted in a large bureaucracy. But it never gets you long term results.

I’ve owned my home on San Juan Island for over 20 years and have never seen such a “show of force”. What’s happening to our local friendly way of life? But then American Camp isn’t run by locals, is it?

Patty Francisco
San Juan Island


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