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Letter: Don't kill the golden goose

Dear Park Rapids area citizens,

I ventured north last weekend to enjoy family and the lovely lakes region of Park Rapids. My husband and I viewed the scenic beauty of County Road 18 as we neared the beloved "cabin." I wondered if I would get to see the fall colors this year and if the scene would be gone by the fall of 2011. That stretch from County Road 4 west on County Road 18 is absolutely stunning in the fall. Will it be ruined by the Itasca-Mantrap Co-op Electric / Great River Energy proposed high voltage transmission line? Will area leaders and Itasca-Mantrap board members allow this to happen without a thought to future generations of tourists and citizens?

I was watching public television not long ago - a program about the Brainerd lakes region and how the leaders there worked with the University of Minnesota to sustain tourism without ruining the natural beauty that brings the tourists in the first place. The one phrase that sticks in my mind from that program is, "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!"

How many scenic county roads around Park Rapids will have to be ruined before the goose - the natural beauty that we drive to see - is killed? How long will it take to kill that goose? If we are all dead by then, do we care? If County Road 18 becomes just another pole-lined rural route, and our grandchildren never see the beauty we see, does it matter?

Many who love the lakes region of Park Rapids, have been expressing opposition to the placement of the TL-10-86 transmission line on County Road 18 because we believe there is a much better solution. We believe the board members of Itasca-Mantrap Co-op Electric can find a better way.

Please don't kill the goose.

Sandra Stugelmeyer

New Ulm

On behalf of a little piece of heaven along CSAH 18