I will begin this letter by thanking Park Board Chairman Steve Mariani and Park Superintendent Chad Edgar for meeting with us following the article in the Havre Daily News dated on Oct. 3, which contained erroneous information about Youth Trapper Camp,Inc. We were able to sit down and intelligently discuss various aspects of the article and come to some positive solutions.
Youth Trapper Camp, Inc. is not a “club” as stated many times in the Oct. 3 article. It is an incorporated organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit educational organization with a 501(c)3 tax deductible status. YTC Inc. operates under a board of directors, constitution and bylaws with a purpose in part “for charitable, educational and scientific purposes and in particular teaching the proper care, management, preservation and utilization of furbearers and other North American wildlife to the benefit of the general public and future generations.”
We have conducted a family-oriented camp at our cabin site in Mooney Coulee for 13 years bringing into the Havre community hundreds of individuals from Montana and states as far away as Louisiana and Pennsylvania. These people spend thousands of dollars each June in Havre and the surrounding area purchasing gas and food and attending tourist attractions. Some of these families return year after year because they have enjoyed the hospitality and beauty of our area.
We have conducted this activity by trying our best to refrain from bothering others in the area. We rent twice the amount of portable toilets for daily use, we structure our parking in the area by the use of a “parking boss” who knows where to park RV’s, campers, vehicles and tents with a minimal amount of blockage to the road. We establish boundaries for those attending the camp with youth only being allowed to leave the area with an adult at all times, all dogs at the camp are on leashes at all times and class chaperones ensure that all attendees are at the class they are assigned.
In the Havre Daily News article complaints were raised that were not factual. If the road was blocked at any time it would only have happened if the road was being traversed or a vehicle being parked which would have amounted to a very short period of time. At no time were portable toilets put into the roadway permanently.
Due to scheduling conflicts the camp will again be at our cabin site in 2013. It will be moved in 2014. This will probably work out for the better for all concerned except for the fact that my husband and I are being forced out of our cabin for that weekend by a few complainers who can’t or won’t wait a few minutes to traverse a road that is for public use. I wonder how they would feel if the same happened to them?
Fran Buell, coordinator
Youth Trapper Camp Inc.