28 March 2020

Sent this to my state representative about unnecessary state park closures

 Dear Rep. Meek, 

You came to my door during the last election campaign (Robinette Court in North Clackamas), which I appreciated.

I have not written to you before, but now I have an issue that I consider quite important, which is the misguided and unnecessary closure of all the State Parks to day use. I of course understand the thinking, but I would urge you to consider proposing a reversal of this policy to the governor or by a resolution or something. People need fresh air, a place to enjoy a little sunshine and nature, take the dog for a walk, etc. EVEN MORE now than in normal times. And we're told by the CDC and others that "stay home" doesn't literally mean stay inside, it means avoid physical contacts. But it's completely possible, easy, even, to go to a most parks most of the time and stay more than six feet away from everyone. You drive there in your own car, no contact, walk around, no contact, go home, no contact. There is just NO GOOD REASON to restrict this activity, and it's very important and beneficial to peoples' mental health in these trying times. I am very angry about this and strongly urge you to do something about it. Why not just post regulations requiring physical distancing, and close only those parks (such as some beaches) that typically become too crowded?  Just because we are doing everything we can to slow the spread of this terrible disease doesn't mean that everything we do has to come to an end. Where, as here, there is just no good reason for the restrictions, there needs to be more flexibility. 

I am law abiding and am not planning on breaking rules. But I will point out that regulations that are unnecessary and overly restrictive like this INVITE people to disregard them. And once people start ignoring restrictions, it's harder to enforce the ones that are truly necessary. EVERY restriction imposed because of this disease should be CAREFULLY limited to only what is truly necessary for this very reason. 

Thank you. 

David Studhalter

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