The recent action to police unruly behavior on the Kishwaukee River is absurd. Yes, the preserves and river should have police action to curb the unruly behavior, but to inflict searches and seizures on every person hoping to gain access to the waterway is not the method that should be used. In fact, this may be illegal in itself.
Canoers are and have always been “stewards of the waterways,” whether streams, rivers or lakes. I have been canoeing since I was 10 years old. I’m now approaching 72 and look forward to every outing on the Kish. My wife and four children spent untold hours on the rivers, lakes and streams of Illinois. We now enjoy the same with our grandchildren. Refreshments were — and should be — part of the all-day experience for families who enjoy this inexpensive family recreation. Children enjoy their refreshments and adults theirs. I enjoy a quiet float with a cold beer or two. I live in Chicago, and am happy to contribute economically to New Milford, Cherry Valley and Rockford, depending upon what supplies, motel rooms and restaurant fare we need for a weekend.
Our society dictates that we not punish the many for the sins of a few. Forest Preserve personnel, Department of Natural Resources and local police should be in the forefront in addressing the problems created by the few. I’m looking forward to visiting the Kish several times before the snow flies and my joints tighten up, but if the present circumstances prevail, I must look for other venues.
Wayne P. Larsen
From the June 20-26, 2012, issue