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Letter to the Editor for Thursday, May 13


**Duck River access

To the Editor:

From looking at the comments on the River Life on the Duck Facebook page, more information about the Warners Bridge river access is needed.

I was one of the two commissioners who represented the 4th district during the replacement of the old Warners Bridge. During that time, I received a phone call letting me know that access to the river was blocked but a fence that had been erected from the guard rail to the property line running east and west. This seems to be about where the gates are currently standing blocking access.

I went and looked for myself that the fence was blocking access to the river. Myself, the other commissioner representing the 4th district, along with county officials reviewed ownership of the property. We, along with the county mayor, road superintendent, county attorney and other employees met at Warners Bridge. It was determined that the fence was on county property. The fence was taken down once again allowing access once again to the river.

The county road department by providing rock improved the access road and the river bank area for entering the water. Ownership of the county's land was not questioned at that time nor since. The access to the river has been open for many, many years with no major problems. What's changed the last few weeks? Nothing really. Just a claim that has no merit. Do you think the county would purchase land for a river access without making sure that the entrance into the water was included? The deed calls for the center of the river.

Now, let us address the dumping and garbage issue. Under the litter grants to the county, the prisoners clean up the sides of the roads. They also cleaned up at Warners Bridge and others. Garbage was never a major problem at Warners Bridge until now.

Let me conclude by saying that I am 76 years old and have had a stroke. If I were a young man, the fight would be on! I raised my son on the Duck River. I enjoyed the river with my entire family, friends, fishing buddies and others all of my active life. There is not a more enjoyable activity that you can do float, fish and play on our wonderful Duck River. I remember a time of fighting the establishment of a major dump near our river. The people won!

Don't let a few people who don't care about your rights to use the river take them away. There is a lock on the gates. I've already heard that keys are available to the right people. It is sad to think about it. The gates need to come down and access to the river returned to the people who really own it, the citizens of Bedford County.

William Frank Butler



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