As residents of Lost Island Lake, former educators, and supporters of the Palo Alto County Conservation Board, we are very concerned about the budget cuts to reduce conservation funding or services in our county. We surmise this idea is to save money, however we strongly disagree with such a plan.
The Palo Alto County Conservation Board provides numerous, valuable educational programs throughout Palo Alto County as well as providing important information to the many visitors of the Nature Center. Campers, boaters, hikers and area residents all use this lovely facility. The staff has provided leadership, support, and guidance for many projects around Lost Island Lake. Their work has helped create the rock reef structure in Lost Island, the new wildlife observation area and dock, and new fish cleaning facilities. They have been instrumental in developing bike trails both at Lost Island and Five Island Lake in Emmetsburg. They have been vital partners in the Water Quality Team of Lost Island which has brought huge improvements to the lake and surrounding wetlands. Art Hampe, Miriam Patton, Mary Barrick and their staff are always providing outstanding service to Palo Alto County residents.
This area is greatly enhanced by the recreational areas in Palo Alto County. Much needed revenue is generated by the lakes and wetlands. The Palo Alto County Conservation Board and their employees are doing excellent work and definitely should not be downsized, either in funding, services, or personnel.
(signed) Jim and Sharon Neighbors