2018-02-15 / Views

On candidates, hunter harassment and grazing

We offer some thoughts and views of recent topics on the Leelanau Peninsula:

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And the winner will be ... we have no idea.

But we do expect enough candidates, and probably a bunch of them, to run for the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners in the upcoming elections.

Ty Wessell got ahead of the pack to file the paperwork to run again for the County Board. Mr. Wessell, from Northport, has twice won two-year terms to the County Board. He was a major reason Democrats came within one seat of controlling the board four years ago; he and fellow Dem Patricia Soustas-Little of Leland remain on the board while Republicans control five seats.

Is that a big deal? In our mind, no. Not as long as the needs of people are met, bills are paid and the financial burden on residents doesn’t escalate. Still, we’ll spend time covering the political balance of power in Leelanau County as it does provide an indication of the direction of government.

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Social media can be a cruel thing, as Maple City resident Mary K. Eschbach learned after hunters lashed back at her for harassing one of their own. A local hunter caught her tirade on his cell phone, and the clip went virile.

Ms. Eschbach pleaded “no contest” to hunter harassment. The charge was needed for the same reason deputies can’t let drivers go 90 mph down M-22.

But her attorney, Grant Parsons, says that she’s received threats and now feels “hunted” by the hunting community.

That’s wrong. We ask hunters to back off. A few of you are giving your favorite sport a bad name. And there’s always an election coming up affecting fish and game laws.

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Goats at Clay Cliffs?

Why not?

That’s the latest plan to fight evasive species in Leelanau County. Specifically, garlic mustard is out-competing native plants for space at Clay Cliffs Natural Area in Leland Township. The Conservancy is planning to fight back not with elbow grease, but with a small herd of grazing goats capable of munching the diminutive biennial plant down to its roots.

It’s an interesting concept with potential. Like so much that happens today, though, you can over-analyze. It’s not like goats are “native.” And stringing wire around a “natural area” seems a bit foreign, too.

But sight-seeing over a monolithic field of garlic mustard has its aesthetic limitations, too.

Happy grazing.

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