Recent articles in the Tri-City Herald state that local officials are advocating that Congress transfer control of the Columbia River shoreline from the Army Corps of Engineers to local control. I am strongly opposed to this proposal.
The Army Corps of Engineers has a history of wise and conservative management to benefit both wildlife and public use. This is well demonstrated by Bateman Island, a city park (owned by the Corps) located on the Columbia River as well as Columbia Park and a number of other wildlife areas, and parks along the Snake and Columbia rivers.
For an example of what happens when there is political control, look to Sacajawea Park, which is mostly underutilized now that the state Legislature has levied a regressive tax in the form of a $10 day use fee. This fee has eliminated most of the Hispanic families that were major users of this park in the recent past and in my view represents an example of using a public resource to raise money at the expense of the public benefit. Essentially this fee denies use of what was a public commons to lower-income people.
Stan Moon, Richland