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A number of readers seem to think so.

Here’s a sample of a couple of the letters we have received in response to Wednesday’s “Close to Home” piece by Bruce Kinnison. (To read Kinnison’s column, click here):
Mr. Kinnison is being generous in his review,” writes Kent Chilcott of Santa Rosa. “In truth, the situation is worse than he outlines and more specifically due to policy confusion, indifference and mismanagement on the part of local park staff.”

He gives examples of trail destruction “due to unsupervised work;” the felling of native redwood, madrone and manzanita “as a trail closure method;” bark-ringing of native redwoods; and destruction of a native oaks as part of an erosion control measure” at the Lake Ilsanjo spillway. “Implementation was careless, improperly managed and led to the destruction of a significant area of steep-slope oak woodland. Due to this mistake, this region will be an on-going erosion liability.”

He also noted the admitted mistake by park managers in allowing Lake Ilsanjo to drain too far, actions that have denied park visitors use of the lake this summer.“It is time for renewed public discussion regarding the overall guiding objectives and management methods for Annadel State Park,” Chilcott writes.

Rick Blanc of Forestville has concerns as well. “I have been to the park recently, and we have seen the dead Douglas fir trees,” he writes. “I have also noticed the dead oaks and thought they were victims of the sudden oak death syndrome. I now realize they were victims of (poor) management.”Personally, I have not noticed the dead trees as much, although I certainly noticed the abundance of poison oak. (Unfortunately, I didn’t notice it well enough last fall and broke out with a terrible case after camping at Spring Lake. Everybody in my family, except my 4-year-old, Clara, came down with it. How she avoided it, I’ll never know.)But I plan to take Chilcott up on his invitation to hike the Spring Creek trail to see the destruction of oak trees – and maybe have conversation with the rangers.

– Paul Gullixson