The recent proposal to use city-owned property on the bluffs for housing development is very short-sighted and not in the best long-term interests of the community.
Protecting the bluffs rising over La Crosse is of critical importance to our community. The bluffs contribute significantly to the scenic beauty and quality of life. They also are important to our economic future.
This land is already in use. It is used by thousands of walkers and bicyclists each year. The Hixon Forest is a jewel that is is not replaceable and is enjoyed by the community and visitors from far and wide.
Human Powered Trails has developed a shared-use trails system there that has gained national attention and serves as a tourist attraction, creating jobs through tourism.
The current and future benefits this tract will deliver as a park far outweigh any short-term gains a small housing development could create.
I encourage the city council to vote to designate the Upper Hixon Forest Track as a city park at the January council meeting. This is in keeping with the reason the land was sold to the city.
This also will protect a resource that is already contributing to our community and will continue to do so long into the future.