VOLCANO - The Mountwood Park board Monday night opposed the selling of deer hunting permits for the 2012 hunting season in the park.
The park board decided to keep coon hunting permits available, because of the high volume of the animals in the park and ability for hunting to take place during the night when it won't affect other areas of the park. Board member Jean Ambrose expressed her concern about having deer hunting in areas of the park where mountain bike riding and hiking activities are taking place.
"There's something about that that doesn't feel quite comfortable," she said of hunting in close quarters with other park activities.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Mountwood Park board member Jean Ambrose, left; volunteer/coordinator of the ATV park, John Reed, center, and board member Jim Keith, right, look at the new layout for the ATV trails.
Ambrose said closing the park on certain days for hunters has been a less than ideal situation in the past.
"It was confusing, I think, for the public to say it was open some days and closed others," said Ambrose.
Jeremy Cross, Wood County parks director, said the state law for hunting should be 500 feet from any building or dwelling. Because of these reasons, the park board decided to veto the decision of selling the permits but will treat future decisions about hunting on a year-to-year basis.
The board passed a motion for an ATV park. The ATV use has been a topic of discussion for a while, and volunteers have been working on the process. A coordinator for the new park, John Reed, presented the board with an update on how planning has been going.
"We're looking at an agreement just like Hatfields and McCoys (ATV trail in SouthernWest Virginia)," said Reed. "I'm pretty convinced we can do this with no government money or no money from Mountwood Park."
Reed said the ATV park has received a $19,500 grant from Yamaha with the hopes the board will pass the use of the park and back creating the park. Reed said Wood County sheriff's deputies have seen an increase in the illegal riding of ATVs in the county.
Reed said the park could sell 2,000 passes for the use of the ATV park yearly. Reed offered a name for the park, Mountwood Park ATV Adventures, and said profits would go to Mountwood, with the agreement that 10 to 15 percent would go back toward trail maintenance.
Terms of the agreement will be worked on within the next week or so. The board will hear a motion, and the decision to allow the ATV park will be made soon, officials said.
A concern surrounding dogs in the park was raised. Cross said there have been two incidents of dogs biting park visitors and employees. Last Saturday a woman and her smaller breed dog were attacked by a pit bull.
"She was trying to kick the pit bull off her little dog, so it started to bite her leg," he said.
Cross said Wood County does not have a leash law, but there is a state code that holds owners liable for dogs running at large. The park has a law that states dogs should be on a leash within campgrounds and the park.
Board member Peggy Squires said the main thing is to make sure dogs are leashed and owners are present if the dog is outside of a camper.
"Some (campgrounds) don't allow certain breeds," she said.
The motion was approved that the dog owners will be held responsible, and the visitors/guests will be asked to remove dogs if the rule is not upheld.
The park's marketing committee has been discussing the production of new park maps. The committee has teamed with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council in an effort to update trail maps, aerial photography and general mapping of the park.
In the future, the park wants to give visitors the opportunity to find the maps online, available for viewing and printing.