Letter: Don't do 'walk in' format at Cass Lake
I am writing to protest the Chippewa National Forest proposal to make the Cass Lake Loop at Norway Beach Recreation area a “walk in” campground.
“Walk in” means that there will be a parking lot where you leave your vehicle unattended, out of sight of your campsite, and you have to carry all of your camping equipment to your campsite. No vehicles will be allowed to drive in like they do now, which means tents only and no RVS.
A new outhouse was put in a few years ago, which was a nice improvement. Why was all that money spent for that, when now you basically are planning to close the loop? Making the Cass Lake Loop a “walk in” camp is the same as closing it, because so very few people will walk in, therefore, non-use is an excuse for closing the loop permanently.
My family and I have been camping here for 40 years. I know of many others that have made this their favorite spot for years, too. The Forest Service thinks we will all just move to one of the other loops if we don’t want to walk in, but which of the other loops has actual lakeside campsites? None.
In past years due to high water and ice pushup of the shoreline, rocks were put in along the shore to protect it. The placement of the rocks has reduced the use, but the lake sites are full almost every night by “drive in” campers.
Most campers would accept the closing of the shower and flush toilet facilities; South Pike, Knutson Dam and many other campgrounds are like that. But making it a primitive campground in 2020 is sad. It has been an “improved campground” for over 60 years. It seems that the Forest Service is going backward after all these years.
However, closing the shower and flush toilets is more acceptable, if the loop is left open to all campers and not just to “walk ins.”
Because of disability or age, a lot of people are not able to “walk in” and carry camp equipment. Could this be considered discrimination?