Sharon Heywood Letter May 17, 2010
To Sharon Heywood
Ms. Heywood, Your staff informed you at the last Coming of Age Ceremony of the recreational boaters’ reckless and hateful actions at the Coming of Age Ceremony, which caused public health and safety endangerment — the young woman coming of age, the friends and families assembled and the Forest Service employees themselves. The boaters who did not honor the voluntary closure and caused the health and safety endangerment would have alerted any body that it required mature, responsible, thoughtful, courageous, clear response and action the next time to prevent a horrible tragedy. As stated in your letter, the Concensionnaire has indicated he would close the campsite on the strength of the positive experience with the Winnemem he witnessed. He was convinced of the importance of the ceremony. My question is why are you not also making a responsible and compassionate decision as the concenssionaire did. Why would a person who has the responsibility of public safety, why would a human being who values human life turn her back and with her silence set up a potentially tragic and horrible situation. Such irresponsibility is not only shameful. It could break a career. Why would a person deserving of holding such authority as you do take such a foolish risk. Turn back from this. Please do the right thing. Everyone else is doing the job you should be doing. That is shameful.
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A powerboat, steered by passengers who ignored the voluntary closure, speed past the bark huts