LETTER: Support preservation of Cottonwood Lake forest

From reader Fern Sabo

As longtime residents of Nelson, we have enjoyed Cottonwood Lake Regional Park’s natural beauty for decades. The lake’s close proximity to Nelson makes it a destination for recreating throughout the year.

Grizzly bears utilize the area as a travel corridor. Osprey catch their meals here and a fun, family fishing weekend takes place annually on Father’s Day. Places such as Cottonwood Lake act as an enticing interface between humans and nature.

It’s hard to imagine that a place as special as this could be the victim of extensive logging. However, it happened. In late 2018 concerned citizens called an emergency meeting to stop the deforesting carnage that was occurring next to the lake. The community was shocked to learn that the land surrounding their beloved lake was private, and was slated for timber harvesting.

Rallying together, a group of Nelson area residents voiced their concerns. Citizens engaged in creative conservation: signs were posted and social media feeds buzzed. The Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society (CLPS) was formed, solidifying the community’s commitment to purchase private land adjacent to the lake.

Today, nearly two years since the first public meeting, the CLPS has done an amazing job garnering support from local people. They have successfully met their first milestone and have preserved one-third.

But there is still much to be done. The additional 49 acres of private land surrounding the lake needs to be purchased in order to protect it. With a hefty price of $750,000, this is no small feat. In order to preserve it, all possible donors need to come forward.

All contributions are encouraged, which is why we, as a local business, made the decision to give to the campaign in this second round of fundraising. Together we can save the beautiful forest habitat surrounding our much-loved Cottonwood Lake.

Fern Sabo

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