Rebecca Muller: Vote no on hunting in preserved areas
To the editor:
I was dumbstruck to learn of the proposal to open conservation land to hunting in Northampton. I am not opposed to hunting. It is a personal decision with a long cultural history throughout our existence as humans.
I am, however, deeply opposed to hunting in these relatively small city conservation areas, that many, many of us treasure as quiet, safe places in which we may escape the sights and sounds of “civilization.”
I treasure the opportunity to see a great variety of wildlife, including deer. Many people, including myself, use Fitzgerald Lake in particular to take late evening and pre-dawn walks along a highly visible path even in low light when we are more likely to see wildlife and can enjoy sunrises and sunsets and stars unfettered by light.
The idea that I and others would have to go on “hyper alert” during hunting season just astonishes me, since the area is so close to populated areas. I treasure this place as a deeply available and safe all-season place to walk and snowshoe and run; and particularly that it is a “safe” place for me and other animals, even during hunting season, when other local areas are not. I can only imagine that most, if not all, donors of both the land and sustaining funds give so with the belief that this is a wildlife preserved area, for both animals and people. I strongly urge you to vote down the request to permit hunting in these areas.