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Private property rights

We were glad to see a very productive and useful meeting at the Forkland Community Center last week, as property owners, ATV riders and local officials all gathered together to make sure everyone understands the law when it comes to private property and landowners’ rights.

One thing everyone agreed on at the meeting was that the knobs area in southern Boyle County — the Fork — is beautiful. That’s why landowners love their land; and it’s why recreational enthusiasts love visiting.

Less beautiful were the troubling stories shared of people disregarding the wishes of landowners and trespassing or even damaging private land as they ride vehicles around and along the North Rolling Fork Creek; and of drug users and partiers conducting illegal activities at all hours of the night.

Officials laid it out quite clearly: No one is allowed to trespass on private property, even if there’s a creek on the property. Boats may be able to float on public waters, but the land underneath those waters is still owned by someone, and anyone touching that land should have permission.

Solutions proposed were smart ones — extra patrols on the weekend by the sheriff’s office that could catch a lot of the problem visitors to the Fork in the act; and landowners themselves taking action to protect their own property by posting it and by always giving written permission to people who are allowed to be there.

There is so much beauty on the Fork that it would be a shame not to share it — and many living in the area are more than willing to share their property with respectful visitors. We’re glad it seems like last week’s meeting resulted in solutions that will allow friendly visitors to continue to enjoy the Fork, while minimizing the negative effects of more thoughtless marauders.

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Boyle County Fair

A week ago, we had just finished enjoying the Great American Brass Band Festival. Now it’s time for another week of Americana, with the arrival of the Boyle County Fair.

It seems like we can already smell the funnel cakes and hear the screams of joy from the rides.

The county fair gives everyone a chance to forget about whatever is worrying them and just have fun. We could all probably use a little more of that in our lives.

If you get a chance this week, carve out an evening and visit the fair with your family. Leave your cell phone in your pocket — or better yet, leave it in the car when you park — and give yourself a break.

If you want to know what’s going on at the fair each night, pick up a fair guide, copies of which are available for free at The Advocate-Messenger’s office.