I really do like the idea of having a state park (or an extension of South Mountains State Park) in Catawba County. The project would improve access to these areas and improve signage for South Mountains.

One thing that confuses me about this endeavor is the reasoning behind some of the new legislation. All State Parks would now have new enforcement rules as a result of Mr. Wells’ bill No. 380. On the surface they sound sensible and logical, and for the most part, I’m sure they are. Call me skeptical, but I just hope they aren’t used as a mechanism for driving the homeless out of hidden pockets of the park (with enforcement responsibility being transferred to Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources).

From the summary of S380, Section 5, the bill will amend GS 143B-135.16 to specify “seven rules punishable as an infraction, punishable by a penalty not to exceed $25; includes: (1) parking a motor vehicle outside of a designated area; (2) using skateboards and similar devices in prohibited areas; (3) bathing animals or washing clothes or motor vehicles; (4) bathing, surfing, diving, swimming, and the like in undesignated areas; (5) carrying or depositing glass, crockery, or any metallic substance on a swimming area or beach; (6) using boats, rafts, canoes, and other vessels in designated swimming areas; and (7) fishing in nondesignated areas. It adds a prohibition that a person found responsible for a violation carrying a penalty of an infraction of the statute cannot also be assessed court costs for the infraction.”

Dustin Strickland

Hickory, NC

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