Save Rocky Gap, keep public lands public
A task force comprised of individuals who represent economic development and business, in my opinion, will address all issues through the lens of what they know — business. A state park such as Rocky Gap has as its main focus, I would think, serving the people of the state by providing access to nature, hence the word “Park.” If Rocky Gap was intended to support business, it would be Rocky Gap State Mall.
Now, the task force wants to describe its focus differently, but it’s the same focus regardless of wording. The task force wants to take state land that has attracted lots of people and convert some of that to a business setting.
The privatization of public lands is a business investment where the intention is to extract money from a local community, building wealth for a non-public entity, rather than investing in the welfare and enjoyment of the residents. As a friend of mine said, “this is how the rich get richer” and with the help of the state.
A park is a valuable asset for the state and the residents of Maryland. It is a habitat for wildlife, and the forests provide an abundance of services to people and other animals. Keep the “park” in Rocky Gap State Park.
Finally, for the state to do what is best for all its residents, the task force should include park users as well.