Fast Focus 'What are your ideas for access to the Hanford site?' Access for all

November 17, 2013 

I like the idea that the Hanford site is eventually going to open to public access more and more acres of this unique area. It is my hope that it is opened to all of the real public. That means everyday taxpayers, citizens and visitors not just certain special interest groups that have political backing and want exclusions that cater to them. I want to see access everywhere for everyone from the top of Rattlesnake mountain to being able to fish and launch boats at the southern White Bluffs Ferry landing. I like the idea of a hiking/biking trail along the river to allow non-motorized access to this area, preferably on the south side of the river due to unstable land on the north side.

For the average person it makes no sense to make them drive twice the distance to access the Northern White Bluffs Ferry Launch or actually drive boats from the Richland or Vernita area, to access the central river area. This is especially true if you want to launch a boat or just fish from the bank or hike along the central river area. In the vision of allowing the public access to the Hanford Site the south side is the logical access point. It would save lots of natural resources and make more people able to realistically get to the central river area. I envision at least a day park and eventually an overnight park restricted to four to seven days in the area near the south side of the White Bluffs Ferry Landing. It would help people access this unique and wonderful area without having to drive twice the distance. This could also be a pay-as-you-go park to help pay for expenses.

I understand that certain working areas need to be excluded and accept that as a good start. We can work on those areas' access later. We have the unique possibility to map our future access to this open area and should not waste the chance to help development of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I do not want to see special interest groups get access to certain areas while the general public gets excluded because of so-called fragile environment or sacred lands. We can keep from destroying these areas with pathways and parking lots or other restrictions. This is the only acceptable way of letting real access to the public become a reality.

You can never stop everyone from misusing public lands, but you can let all the citizens at least have access to these lands that were forcibly taken from the same citizens. I realize this occurred for the good of America and would like to see open access to the public return for the good of America.

I know that you can't make everyone happy and you never will. My suggestion is to try to make the largest amount of people happy even if it is not what the special interest groups want.

-- TOM MARTY, West Richland

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