When Flying Heart was subdivided, the public’s right to access the Big Wood River was preserved in the final development documents between the county and the developer. For 40 years, the public has been parking on Aspen Lakes Drive to use the Flying Heart easements for fishing, kayaking and recreation.

Judge Ned Williamson’s recent court ruling confirms that the public can continue to use these access easements and park along Aspen Lakes Drive to do so. I applaud his decision recognizing the public’s right to access the Wood River. At the same time, I empathize with the homeowners. The public has the right to access the Wood River, but we also have a responsibility to be good neighbors to the Flying Heart homeowners and good stewards of our public resources. Let’s treat our neighbors in Flying Heart the way that we would want to be treated. Access is a right that we should respect and work to protect. While legal fights are almost guaranteed to create tension and animosity, we have to make sure we do not lose our compassion and humanity for each other.

This case is not over. It’s scheduled to go to trial in November to resolve several remaining issues. All of our actions matter, and it is my hope to implore you to not jeopardize our public access by making unneighborly decisions at any of our public access sites, but especially in the Flying Heart subdivision. In the meantime, we encourage you to be kind to each other and to be grateful for Idaho’s vast amount of public land and our cherished access to it.

Terry Ring

Silver Creek Outfitters, Ketchum

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