Monday, April 10, 2006

We made the news...........

Here's a couple of articles that ran in our paper this morning..........

Cyclists worry about trails
A local bike club is concerned that logging by York Water Co. will destroy park trails.
Daily Record/Sunday News

At bottom: · FOR MORE INFO
Apr 10, 2006 —

George McNally and Hank Smelter trudge up the stone-covered trail, mud clinging to their feet.

They point to where, until recently, a swath of red pines stood. In the distance, a bulldozer was working on timbering another area.

"This used to be a great place to ride," McNally said.

As part of York Water Company's ongoing forest-management program, pine trees standing along the south side of Water Street, just outside Jacobus, were cut down recently.

McNally and Smeltzer are members of the York Area Mountain Bike Association. Members of the group work with the York County parks to maintain the trails.

The organization's mission statement says it "seeks to promote the conservation of the trail ... to ensure the longevity of trail access for all trail users."

But one of the popular trails that cut through this area was destroyed by the logging.

Jeffrey Osman, water company president, said the trees in William H. Kain County Park had reached maturity and that it was time to replace them with younger trees. He said any trails destroyed by logging will be replaced once the areas are cleared.

A certified trail builder, Smeltzer said he wants to know that the trail that will be replaced will have little impact on the environment.

"We don't want it to wash out and get gullies," he said.

Smeltzer and McNally also pointed out that trees on the other side of Water Street were cut down almost two years ago and they have not yet been replanted with seedlings.

While they recognize there is little that can be done regarding the recent harvest, Smeltzer said he is hoping that the bike club can work with the water company in the future.

He would like to see it serve in an advisory capacity regarding decisions affecting the trail.

"We would like a spot at the table," he said.

On Wednesday, bikers will meet with Duane Close of the York Water Company to address their concerns.

But the men said they don't want this to be just a water company versus bike club issue.

Many organizations - from equestrian groups to hiking clubs - use the park.

In addition to the trails, Smeltzer and McNally are also concerned about the bald eagles that have made a home in the park. Osman said that logging is not being done near the nest. But McNally and Smeltzer worry that if too much of the forest is cut down, the eagles could be forced to look for other territory.

Mike Helfrich, a river keeper with the Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, said that he has contacted the water company about the logging and was assured that the trees were mature trees and were being harvested before they die off.

Regardless of their assurances, he said, there isn't much that can be done.

"It's basically a privately-controlled county park," he said.

The water company has been managing the forest in the watershed of its two reservoirs, Lake Redman and Lake Williams, for at least 50 years.

Company officials said this most recent tree harvest, which began two years ago, was in response to 2003 storms, which damaged and destroyed many of the trees.


For more information on the York Area Mountain Bike Association, visit

And an editorial from the York Daily Record...........

Logging in county park
Was it really necessary to cut so many trees at Kain Park?
Daily Record/Sunday News

Apr 10, 2006 — Assorted thoughts on assorted subjects:

If a tree falls in the woods: Please pardon the pun, but we just can't resist: They're razing Kain - William H. Kain County Park, that is.

And that's razing with a "z" - not an "a-i-s." As in: Cutting down trees.

Well, not all of them, thank goodness.

But the York Water Co., which owns the land while the county operates Kain Park, recently cut down a sizable stand of mature pine trees along Water Street and sold the timber to Glatfelter - irritating mountain bikers who frequent the area.

Water company president Jeffrey Osman said the trees had reached maturity and "it was time to replace them with younger trees."

But what's wrong with having mature trees? Aren't they better than spindly little saplings?

Granted, some of the trees were damaged by a storm a few years ago, but couldn't they have just cut down severely broken or diseased trees?

Kain and Nixon parks, which surround the water company's reservoirs, are true jewels of our community - a testament to the vision of Mr. Kain, who was instrumental in providing the land to the county for a park. In fact, he noted that accomplishment as one of the highlights of his distinguished career.

As our county continues to grow with sprawling development, these parks are much-needed buffers of green space. So it's sad to see mature trees cut down - almost as sad as it was a few years ago to see the water company sell part of the parkland for a housing development.

With many local golf courses being nibbled away for development, you can't help but worry about the future of Kain Park. The potential profits from development might prove extremely tempting.

Let's hope the water company takes seriously its stewardship of this public resource. As the county - rightly - moves toward preserving another spectacular piece of open space at Lauxmont Farms, the commissioners might want to ask themselves whether it's equally, if not more, important to protect what they already "have."

Just shining a little light on the subject......

Till later.

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