Thank you for publishing “Path less traveled” (May 18), regarding the proposal by certain members of the community to allow nighttime recreational access to San Luis Obispo’s open space areas. I understand the reasoning behind the proposed change, but the primary purpose of the city’s open space program has always been protection of natural resources. Recreational opportunities in these areas, while an asset to our community, do not take precedence over resource protection. Despite some uncertainty regarding the specific effects of the proposal, it is reasonable to expect that allowing public access at night could result in adverse impacts to wildlife behavior and health, expose the city to added financial costs and risks, and encourage other groups to challenge long-held, sound management practices. As a two-time Cal Poly natural resources management graduate and volunteer docent with ECOSLO’s SLO Stewards program, I urge the current SLO City Council to respect the decades of effort that have gone into the creation and maintenance of these open space areas, and to reflect on the potential long-term effects of their eventual decision.
-- Christopher Hamma - Arroyo Grande