Letsinger: Disappointed at Elkhead

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To the editor:

After reading two letters to the editor from our friends in Craig, we decided to write one, too.

We were up to Elkhead Reservoir on the same dates of Aug. 13 to 15.

It was good to know we weren’t alone in our feelings of the state park.

We were told more of what not to do then what to do — from not parking on grass to not riding ATVs.

We also counted five rangers and a park host. All had different answers to our questions.

We were so disappointed, that we care not to visit Colo-

rado again.

It was nice to know Colo-

rado could afford so many and have them do so little.

P.S. The campground was never full.

Ann Letsinger

Boulder, Wyo.

Comments

native_craig_guy 4 years, 3 months ago

I think that it is funny that everyone dislikes cops and park rangers. In my experience it is the people who attract the attention of the LEOs that get tickets and hate cops. Here are three basic rules to not attract cops and be a responsible citizen;

1.) Keep your Kids and Dogs under control. No one else can stand the sound of your child yelling or your dog barking. No one else thinks that you kid or your dog is as cute or perfect as you do. Keep them both on a leash and out of everyone else's way.

2.) Follow rules. If you do not know what the rules are research them. Look on the internet, ask a ranger or read the signs.

3.) Shut Up and don't act stupid. Do not argue with someone who has the power to write you a ticket. Do not get into a pissing match with a law enforcement officer, you will surely lose.

If your weekend is ruined because you saw a lot of rangers at a state park than my only guess is that your weekend must have been full of illegal activities that were some how ruined by their presence. In that case, thank god for park rangers.

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daybyday 4 years, 3 months ago

Some people see rules and regulations as a direct attack on their sense of entitlement. Why was the choice made to write another letter instead of contacting Parks and Recreation directly in an attempt to voice your alleged mistreatment and therefore resolve your concerns? This is the way grown-ups do it. "We were so disappointed that we care not to visit Colorado again." Seriously??? That's a little like throwing out the baby with the bath water, dontcha' think?

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ColoGeezer 4 years, 3 months ago

wow.....how 'bout you don't let the state line hit you in the backside.

I think that Colorado is going to be better off without you around. I know that when I have gone to Elkhead, I have always had a great time and have never gotten any grief from the Rangers or Police. What were you doing that was wrong and why are you so defensive...?

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als362 4 years, 3 months ago

I caanot think of a thing to add to the posts already here. They are all right on the money. Exactly what I would have written, but I don't need to it is already here.

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stelladams 4 years, 3 months ago

To native_craig_guy and coloradogeezer I was there that weekend and the Letsingers were a older couple and not hurting anybody or doning anything wrong. They were there just trying to enjoy the weekend. I wished I would have met them. To daybyday... I have called colrado state parks before and have got knowwhere , you just get the run around and lied to. Lastly you do not have to be doing anything wrong to get harrassed by a ranger or a police officer, plus ... think about that you are paying there wages.

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als362 4 years, 3 months ago

I have been using Elkhead Reservior for 20+ years and have never been harassed by a Ranger. I would have to say if people are having trouble with the Rangers at Elkhead or any other State Park, they are somehow bringing it on themselves.

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stelladams 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, I have been going there for over 20 yrs to and when the city of Craig was managing the lake it was a lot better... I know the state parks have only been there approximately 10yrs.....

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detzler 4 years, 3 months ago

to native guy... I guess I don't know the new laws at the state parks or just maybe at Elk Head that states that my kids have to be on a leash and they have to be quiet... really ...while they are having fun? Please post those new laws for me. Or maybe you can stay home at your house since state parks are public and people Do Not have to be quiet unless during quiet times. Also my dog can bark on his 6 foot leash and that also might be a resaon you need to stay home. I can read and have read the rules. Was following them, do not need a ranger to come over and tell me them when I am following the rules. I did not argue with a ranger, he came in my space to tell me the rules that I was not breaking. I did not invite him over to my camping space for coffee. Go find somebody else to harrass. There were almost more rangers out there than people... hmmm wonder why? Wyoming people, give Colorado another try. there are some wonderful parks out there that you can enjoy. Just not Elkhead.

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native_craig_guy 4 years, 3 months ago

Stelladams and Deztler- If you guys want to camp in freedom I suggest that you go camp on some BLM out in the middle of nowhere. There are rules in place to protect people and proeprty. This is not the wild west, there are rules and they are often written in blood (i.e. someone got hurt or killed, so they made a rule). As far as the kids being on leashes that was a metaphor for controlling your kids. I cannot stand bratty kids who are not managed by their parents, as I am sure that most people agree with me. I dont camp at Elkhead, nor do I enjoy spending time on public land for the exact reasons you guys are throwing fits. Given that you are insulting and argumentative over an online post I find it difficult to see how you would not have been disrespectful or argumentative to a ranger. I do acknowledge that public land is public and that the public can act (within reason) how they want when they are there. That is no reason not to control your kids or to be respectful to others who are enjoying the public land as well. I am not aware of any public land doctrine that allows people to act without regard for thier fellow citizens whenever they are on public land. It sounds to me like you dont believe in controlling your dogs or your kids (if you have any) that is fine, but dont get upset when park officials control them for you.

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als362 4 years, 3 months ago

To detzler: In my opinion your dog does not have the right to bark whether on a leash or not. Barking dogs, just like screaming, misbehaving kids, and loud unasked for music is very annoying. That is why there are laws concerning barking dogs, and loud music. If someone be it a Park Ranger or not told you to keep your dog quiet, they were exactly correct in doing so. If you can't keep your dog quiet keep it and yourself at home. People do to parks and other places to enjoy themselves, not listen to your worthless dog bark.

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stelladams 4 years, 3 months ago

Argumentative? What about freedom of speach? Just telling it like it is.

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David Moore 4 years, 3 months ago

Reading you guys reminds me of the movie "Grumpy Old Men", and then, "Grumpier Old Men". Are you, and the park rangers, seriously that much against people having a little fun? If(and that is a hypothetical "if") I'm on the beach at Elkhead and my kid is laughing and playing with friends, do you really expect me to tell her to be quiet? Is the harassment of old people, or any people, the mission of the parks department? It sure seems to be. Don't you think instead of the militant attitude portrayed by the park rangers that a reminder of the rules or a warning would be better received than an immediate ticket, the campground stalking, or being spied on with binoculars? It's called tolerance and discretion, apparently they have zero. I realize, and agree, that following the rules is important but the negative letters and posts detailing the tactics of the rangers, despite following the rules, has outdone any positive ones. You can't tell me letting your dog drink water from the river is breaking the law...or that they are so hard up for money that they feel it necessary to harass those who have already paid, or showing up at the tick of noon to make sure they leave...or pay? Not every human is a dishonest lawbreaker. Craig and Moffat County are trying to ATTRACT visitors, the rangers attitudes are whats driving them away from Elkhead, one would think the opposite attitude towards its visitors would be appropriate, thus attracting more to the area. Mrs. Adams is right, it was much more fun and enjoyable when the City of Craig controlled the lake, it was safe, it was fun, and I used it 10 times more than I do now, which is zero. To bad as my family really enjoyed an afternoon on the water or lazing on the beach. Now, its not worth being hassled because my kid is having fun or to make sure I paid...which they can check on without hassling people. Flaming Gorge is a huge lake visited by thousands of people, you don't see the military style stalking and harassment from the rangers out there that you do at little ol' Elkhead. Might be because they actually want people to visit their lake, not go somewhere else. Imagine that.

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als362 4 years, 3 months ago

To everyone:
I will say this once again. I have been visiting Elkhead Reservior for over 20 years. Not one time have I been harassed or bothered by the Rangers. Those that feel the Rangers are harassing them must be doing something wrong. If you do not take the time to read and obey the rules, you can expect a Ranger to stop you and tell you which rule or law you are breaking. To those that think it was somehow better when Craig ran things, I say that Craig never ran anything, there was no enforcement or control of anything. While in my boat, fishing, not moving, I was nearly run over by skiers and jet skis several times. That has not happened since the State Parks took over.
No. it is not against the law for your dog to drink in the river, it is against the law though to enter a State Park controlled area without a parks pass. If you don't understand that God help you. I will say this again. If you are so unhappy with the way things are being run at Elkhead Reservior, please go somewhere else. If you think it is so great to go to Flaming Gorge, please go there! I will be very thankful for that.

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David Moore 4 years, 3 months ago

Bottom line is despite whatever people are doing, legal or otherwise, it is apparent that they are being harassed, stalked or spied upon by the park rangers at Elkhead. I've been to many state controlled parks within Colorado and have never seen nor heard of any problems like those going on at Elkhead. Many of the state parks visited were very enjoyable, the rangers left you alone and we were not stalked, spied on or harassed by any parks staff. What is making Elkhead so different? Do you really think the old couple broke some rule to be harassed by the park rangers? Not!! Would it have been more prudent, and human-like, to let the guy that stopped to let his dog drink (which he has probably done many times) just go about his business for 5 minutes without the need to confront him? Yes, it would have. Do I have to buy a parks pass to stop and let my kid use the bathroom there so she doesn't have an accident in the car? Or should I also pay for a parks pass for that? No, I shouldn't. Seriously, use some common sense. All anyone is saying is to back off and display some discretion when dealing with the public, give out some warnings and be nice, park rangers are supposed to help the public have a good experience. Not to much to ask from people who are being paid by the very users they are harassing. I Never said the rules should not be followed, however the users of Elkhead don't need to be micromanaged and controlled like it was some sort of Gulag.

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als362 4 years, 3 months ago

Bottom line is, I have never had a problem at Elkhead or any other state run park, nor in my opinion has anyone else.
When these Rangers say something to someone, it is for a reason. Not because they have nothing else to do. They have a large responsibility to keep the facility safe, clean, and maintained. That is their job. It is too bad that some people don't understand such a simple concept. I don't think anyone has been harassed by any Ranger. I think these people were doing something wrong and want to blame someone else for their problems. Yes, you do need to buy a parks pass to use state parks facilities, no matter what the reason for entering. That is how they get paid for and maintained. If you do not want to pay your own way don't go there. If you are at home your child will be able to use the bathroom there, no fees, except a house payment. HMMM, looks like everything costs money, no matter where you go. Again no one is or has been harassed. These harassment problems are a figment of their imaginations, because they think that anyone should be able to do anything they want. Paying to enter a state park is no different than using a toll road. If you don't want to pay the toll use another road. The toll is the same if you drive for 5 minutes or 5 hours. There is no free ride, pay your own way or stay at home. I have never once been or felt micromanaged or controlled by anyone at Elkhead. If you have, you have caused the problem. Using a state run park is no different than driving your car, if you break the rules, you pay the fine. No one gets special treatment, or is or has ever been abused.

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