Morning Newsletter

Don't need zip lines to see Boone's Creek Gorge

People have been enjoying it just the way it is

Tom Eblen's column on the Boone Creek Gorge said, "most Lexingtonians don't know what is there."

Your columnist parroted the developer who said, "people don't know this is here, because almost nobody ever gets to see it." Those statements point out that people don't seem to visit the special attractions in the area right where they live. Just because the Herald-Leader columnist and the developer didn't know it was there, doesn't mean thousands of others have not known about and enjoyed it for years. I have since 1972.

How many people live here who have never visited the University of Kentucky. Art Museum, the Kentucky Horse Park, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary and numerous other local attractions? Just because you haven't been there, doesn't mean these places are not appreciated and visited by untold numbers of others.

When I regularly visit there, I see horseback riders, bikers, hikers, hunters, fishers, wildlife enthusiasts and kayakers in and out of this area all the time.

Boone Creek is crossed by public roads, which are also designated Scenic Byways.

Anyone can take the driving tour night or day free of charge. Like many other attractions in Fayette County, if you are going to enter privately owned properties, you need to ask. The Boone Creek Gorge is no different. What's different is that this developer's proposal would expect you to pay to see it. Don't bother, other property owners share it for free upon request.

Charles Graeme Wilson


Safety concerns about owner's plans

The column about Boone Creek Gorge failed to mention the safety aspects of the development. The developer intends to have a dozen overnight lodging sites, numerous zip lines, and suspension bridges crossing the gorge with no means for fire suppression or access for emergency medical personnel.

This gorge is heavily wooded with steep slopes and no roads. There are no fire hydrants near the proposal and no emergency-medical services unit within 10 miles.

The nearest fire station has only a single tank pump truck. If a fire were to start from one of those campsites that priceless resource along with the entire watershed area with homes, barns and farming operations would be in jeopardy. An injured or ill person could not be reached or extracted quickly and could put our firefighters and EMTs in harms way as well.

An absentee landlord who wants to commercialize this environmentally sensitive area should be denied that request based on safety alone. Additionally, no sewage handling plan is included in the proposal.

Jim Lurton