Loch Raven needs rules, but not deer hunters

The recent article about rules and regulations at Loch Raven Reservoir ("Think before you leap," June 25) was very informative and was an important reminder for citizens using the reservoir. The public needs to abide by the rules in order to preserve our drinking water and for safety reasons, too. Bikers, hikers, nature photographers, birdwatchers and any other groups or individuals need to work together to support the laws put into place so that we can enjoy our beautiful Loch Raven in a respectful manner.

I am a hike leader for The Mountain Club of Maryland and we recently have been required to carry an individual permit for each hike with us and be ready to present it to a ranger if asked. We gladly do this in the spirit of cooperation to help the rangers keep tabs on the Loch Raven trail activity.

In keeping with the collaborative efforts of these user groups, Loch Raven management also needs to work with public concerns. Bow hunting continues to present problems. Community associations, hiking clubs, and other users of the outdoors successfully kept bow hunting out of county parks. Sharpshooters will handle the job of reducing the deer herd this year and the parks will be closed. Richard Klein of Community & Environmental Defense Services recently conducted a survey of residential properties adjacent to Loch Raven and found that half of the respondents had negative experiences with hunters and hunting.

Yes, we do need to regenerate tree and forest growth, but Loch Raven management is going to have to accept the fact that the reservoir is smack in the middle of residential neighborhoods whether we like it or not, and that more emphasis on other ways to manage deer and promote forest growth, aside from hunting, need to be taken seriously and fully implemented.

Ann Roberts, Lutherville

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