Letters to the Editor

SLO’s open spaces aren’t just for residents’ recreation

Johnson Ranch Open Space
Johnson Ranch Open Space

The March 2 Viewpoint (“It’s time to put nighttime hiking ban to bed”) offered by the young man seems written by someone who wants what he wants, when he wants it, without any understanding of how the Open Space Program was established and for what purpose.

The 1994 Open Space Element of the General Plan — the city constitution — spelled out what the community wanted. Then came the 1995 Saving Special Places, a report prepared by the Land Conservancy, a study of open space values in the proposed greenbelt. I recommend interested persons take a look to understand the impetus behind the efforts of many to preserve and protect the various resources surrounding our town.

The primary purposes include separation from encroaching sprawl and preservation of important natural and cultural resources. Only secondarily is passive recreation included. Open Spaces are not parks, where active recreation is encouraged.

In spite of the desires of some to access these protected spaces at will and without regard to the needs of the flora and fauna therein, the public has long supported the Open Space Program with respect for the needs of the natural environment.

Christine Mulholland, San Luis Obispo

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