To the Editor:
The proposal to make the Overlook Area in Blue Valley a wilderness area in honor of Bob Zahner does not meet the criteria for a wilderness area. The criteria for a wilderness area are:
• No vehicular roads.
• No mechanical tools such as chainsaws for maintenance.
• Absence of sights and sounds of human activities such as traffic noise, view of houses.
The overlook area does have Forest Service roads, and urban activities can be seen and heard.
The overlook area does have features which attract many recreational pursuits such as hiking, photography, viewing or cooling off in the creeks and waterfalls, roadside dispersed camping, fishing, turkey hunting. Roadside dispersed camping would be eliminated with this proposed wilderness designation. Other recreational activities could continue but to a lesser degree because of access.
The designation of the Overlook Area as a recreational area is more appropriate than wilderness. Recreation, not as a developed area such as Cliffside or Dry Falls, but as a dispersed recreation area where the user observes leave no trace principles for there is no caretaker to pick up paper, beverage containers, and other debris.
Honor Bob Zahner with a low impact recreation area, or a trail or vista on Whiteside Mountain. Do not dilute the definition “Wilderness” area.