While I am not a resident of Franklin County, I have written the county commission because I am very concerned by the lack of a “Leave No Trace” ordinance. I understand that this measure was not passed in a recent commission meeting and have read the meeting notes. It goes without saying that your county’s economy relies heavily on tourism. I am one of these tourists and my family rents vacation homes on St. George Island once or twice annually in addition to numerous short visits each year.
I have been enjoying Franklin County beaches, campgrounds, waterways, hotels, state parks, and restaurants for over 20 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years but am happy to see that the natural beauty has been preserved. I have a close friend who I’ve visited on St. George Island many times over the years and was always disgusted by the trash on the beaches. We always spent part of our visit picking up trash. Thankfully, in recent years trash cans have been installed and the beaches are much cleaner.
I understand that liability and budget concerns are steering the fate of the “Leave No Trace” ordinance, but other areas along the Panhandle have implemented such measures and I feel that Franklin County needs to follow suit. The Forgotten Coast is a special place and one of the few places that is not over commercialized and developed. People are attracted to the natural beauty and serenity that your county has to offer.
I encourage you to help preserve this and pass this ordinance. I hope that my four grandchildren will have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Franklin County that we have been able to enjoy for so many years.
Concerned Franklin County visitor/Leon County resident