Tahlequah Daily Press

November 22, 2013

Primitive area should be free


TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:        

I was sorry to hear the Sparrow Hawk Primitive area will no longer be open to those without a hunting license or some sort of permit.

This beautiful area should be open to all groups, hikers, mountain bikers, groups from Northeastern State University, tourists and most certainly hunters as the deer population needs to be controlled. Local bicycle groups and fraternities have put in new trails and maintained them. People from the Sparrow Hawk Volunteer Fire Department fight fires in the primitive area and hikers pick up trash.

I have not seen anyone from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department doing these chores, so why should we be charged to enjoy this area? The hunters can take home the game they procure, but even then, I think the fee is too high for them. Many people here put meat on the table by hunting and fishing.

The National Geographic Society has the Sparrow Hawk Trail listed in its “good places to hike.” Should we tell them that we don’t want anyone but people with hunting licenses on the trail? I thought we were trying to promote a scenic byway through this area.

My grandchildren love to hike here when they come to visit. Do we have to buy all seven of them hunting licenses? This area was generously given to us by the Fite family as a preserve; I think everyone should be able to use this gift free of charge.  

Peg Willson