I took my children and grandchildren swimming at Lake Tarboo on many summer days. I have enjoyed the false sense of being in the backwoods created by the drive from the paved highway on the gravel road through the corridor of trees left explicitly to create this veneer of remoteness.
A century of efforts has gone into providing our youth with an opportunity to feel the freedom of being in the backwoods. The experiences of enjoying a serene day paddling or fishing would be lost, not only from Tarboo Lake, but the sounds of helicopters and explosives would disturb folks at Crocker Lake, which is 5,000 feet away from Tarboo, and Lake Leland, a mile away.
The timber industry has worked to provide the public with the park at Tarboo for our enjoyment. Can it be that adults have, like a toddler taken on a drive through the woods, failed to realize that Tarboo Lake is not in the wilderness but is, in fact, a park created for the enjoyment of the people living in the area surrounding it?
Tarboo Lake is surrounded by parcels of just over 20 acres. This parcel size provides people with homesites large enough to have privacy. This parcel size accommodates the influx of people moving into our country as retirees and commuting to work aged adults while maintaining the rural environment they want to provide for their families.
As a boy I lived in the wilderness. My brothers and I had guns from the youngest of ages. We hunted, targeted and used them as noisemakers for both signaling and because we were boys and enjoyed making noise. When my older brothers were high school age, we moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. At the time about 6,000 people lived in Fairbanks. We lived miles past the edge of town. No one had to tell me that I could no longer pack my rifle around with me, that I could no longer target behind our home. It was obvious a boy of 12 years with a 30-30.
Here in East Jefferson County we are now a community of thirty thousand people. Most of these people have worked together to use trees to maintain and create privacy, a simulation of wilderness in our growing population density. My closest neighbor recently texted all of us living closely before sighting in a rifle to assure choosing a time that would not disturb sleeping persons or unattended livestock. It is an appropriate and neighborly thing to do. It would be irrelevant if there was a continuous discharge of firearms less than 4,000 feet from our land.