To the editor:

With the Charlotte population at approximately 3,800, and according to the trail survey the committee did, seven people use the trail daily…that is a staggering .0018421 percent of our population, and of the 200 people who responded to the survey, that is only five percent of the population. Of those 200 or so people, 25 percent said they never use the trails. So it seems to me that a very small percentage is asking a great deal of money from all of us. We already have a trail maintenance budget of $2,800 and trails reserve fund of $5,000 and, under miscellaneous town expenses, trails committee: $1,837. Trail budget creep anyone?

But there is another concern here and that is the animals who inhabit the woodlands who are not given a vote. I bet the animals would vote no! According to the Town Plan, AHPV, areas of high public value, are to be protected and these areas, according to Charlotte Tomorrow, “requires an ecological study for the purpose of prevention and mitigation of impacts to wildlife habitats and/or Natural areas.” Not only that, but the trails are in stark contrast to the work being done by the Charlotte Conservation Commission.

If you take the wildlife map and then overlay the trails map, you will see that wildlife stand no chance of survival in Charlotte. The future trail from co-housing to town hall passes through woods that currently show on the wildlife map as animal habitat and movement corridors. Why are we not protecting these areas? Why, when we have so many parks with trails and dirt roads to walk on, do we need to make more trails?

The “Vision” has a major flaw in that it only accounts for humans and their incessant need to trample everything. Walking trials should be built off the side of the road and not in the woods. No one is using the trails to get to work, and a majority of people drive to get to the trail. This is just plain nonsense that a super small group of people can hurt the wildlife and our wallets with this unneeded intrusion…oh, and the trails committee stated that families don’t move here because of the lack of trails. Really? Because both my kids couldn’t move here because the taxes are too high and approving this makes them higher and higher in the coming years. STOP funding trails. Vote NO on 5 and vote YES to protecting the wildlife… JMHO.

Pete Demick