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Letter to the editor: Horse Shoe Bend patrons are good stewards of land

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I’ve read a number of disturbing (letters to the editor) written attacking Horse Shoe Bend and as a frequent patron of this establishment, I feel compelled to respond.
First of all I think it’s extremely important to do your research before forming an opinion on any issue, so I challenge concerned citizens to visit Horse Shoe Bend Off Road Park, participate in one of their events, and meet the owners before making a judgment call.
Horse Shoe Bend is a family-owned business located at 9810 Hwy. 355 in Owenton. They have opened more than 350 acres of Owen County beauty to be enjoyed by all and offer wooded trails, motocross tracks, rock-crawl courses, mud bogs, swimming, fishing ponds, camping areas, and much more.
Horse Shoe Bend has created an affordable opportunity for people to bring their trucks, Jeeps, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, or even horses to enjoy nature at its best.  Their establishment is open every weekend and allows people of all ages to come for just $10 per day. This is a recreational-sports venue that attracts tourism and revenue for our community so I’m appalled by some of the slanderous statements that I’ve read.
There was a letter written in the Carroll County paper printed on Aug. 8 by a Mrs. Gibson who seemed to be writing in support of Dr. Wallace. Oddly enough, all of her comments regarding individuals who ride ATVs in her creek, cut her fences, trespass, and destroy her property are all great examples of why people should support Horse Shoe Bend.
As we all know, there are many adventure seeking teenagers looking for something to do in Owen County who find their way onto private property to get muddy, climb hills, and spin donuts at the expense of the land owners. I’m not proud to say that I was one of the teenagers who would ride my ATV on roads and farms without always getting the proper permissions. Horse Shoe Bend offers an affordable way for people to enjoy off road trails without causing damage or stirring trouble.
The EPA and Water Management have inspected Horse Shoe Bend and found the property and activities they promote to be environmentally friendly.  I have camped at Horse Shoe Bend on numerous occasions and always found a group of nature-loving people who pick up their trash, control their fires, and are very conscientious about their exhaust and liquid spills that may occur in the event of a wreck or turn over. I think that if some of the land, stream, and creek-loving citizens would take some time to participate in the support of recreation in Owen County and at Horse Shoe Bend, you may be surprised by the positive effects. It’s really easy to criticize but much more work to actively participate in positive improvements.
I agree with the importance of preserving and protecting our habitat, and I appreciate the passion of people willing to take a stand. However, I challenge those people to have all the facts in place and consider the big picture before setting out on a mission to persecute a person, group, or business. There are many people who disagree with hunting and hate to see any animal killed, but the fact is that overpopulation would devastate the habitat without it. Other people are annoyed by the “noise pollution” that comes from Elk Creek, but those same people are quick to take full advantage of the revenue that business contributes to the community and looks to that business for support in all charitable activities.  Some people are against drilling for oil, but those same people use gas on a daily basis and complain about high fuel prices. Arguments can be made against farming and raising livestock as it causes erosion and pollution to the steams, but we all know that’s ridiculous.
 My point is that in situations like these, people often get heated and upset due to fear or lack of knowledge and are unable to step back and see the big picture.  I hope that each reader will take the time to explore all the facts and make an educated decision about this and all issues before forming, voicing, or especially writing your opinion.
 
Shanna Osborne