• Tue March 18 2008
  • Posted Mar 18, 2008
OPINION Des Moines Register Thank you for printing the wonderful Iowa View, "Outdoor Recreation Needs to Thrive Alongside Agriculture," Feb. 23. It uses solid research and facts to back up the fact that recreational trails are good for Iowa. I've spent most of my career as a farm-radio broadcaster here in Iowa. It always surprises me when I encounter a farmer who's afraid of possible damage to their property as a result of building a trail adjacent to their land. Such fears are unfounded. Trail users tend to respect private property. Many of them are families with children in tow. Recreational trails have breathed new life into once dying communities. Lanesboro, Minn., was a community that was struggling. Filmore County, where Lanesoro is located, was the poorest county in Minnesota. That changed when abandoned railway beds in and around the area were converted into trails. Now, communities in southeast Minnesota are generating significant revenue from trail users who travel long distances to use their trails. While those tourists are there, they also enjoy dining in numerous area restaurants, as well as entertainment such as live theater. I urge everyone to support trails, especially those farmers who might be concerned about having one near their property. Your property couldn't have a better neighbor than a recreational trail. - Von Ketelsen, farm services director, AM 540 KWMT Radio, Fort Dodge.

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