The more we study the problem of Anderson Lake’s poisoned water, the less clear it is what should be done.
After all, tourists plummet from the rim of the Grand Canyon and are stomped by Yellowstone Park buffalo they’ve irritated, yet National Park Service brass continue waving people in by the mega-bus.
Here on the Quimper Peninsula, there are cougars on local bike trails and hypothermia is a risk in the 50-degree waters of the Strait. Yellow jackets wait in the underbrush and poison mushrooms sprout in every damp fen, yet we accept a caveat emptor ethic: Life cannot be made safe for the reckless, the unskilled and the unlucky.
But there is something troubling about the case of Anderson Lake.
Every time the weather warms, algae bloom and the waters tourists are steered to are literally lethal. Neurotoxins from the bloom have already killed at least one dog and we are reliably informed it will similarly sicken or kill any human who follows state and county signs into the park to play, should they be exposed to the toxic water.
So, we have questions for state and county officials.
1. Where will the game of hot potato end, with county or state agencies responsible if (when) something terrible happens to a person at Anderson Lake?
2. Are we insured against the cost of claims against the taxpayers under what personal injury lawyers call “The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine”?
3. Are you confident the water from the lake, and its toxins, is not seeping into the water table that fills wells of those who live nearby?
4. What is the county and state doing besides placing signs that have proven ineffective?
The Leader’s Editorials are the opinion of the Editorial Board: Publisher Lloyd Mullen; co-owner Louis Mullen; Editor Dean Miller and Leader readers who lobby The Leader. Each editorial is signed by the person who writes that editorial on behalf of the Editorial Board.