please listen to Stewart Trail residents: an open letter to the Lincoln County Commissioners

I am writing to oppose excessive development of the proposed Stewart Trail Recreation Area abutting quiet residential neighborhoods between Alpine and Etna Wyoming.

The parcel of BLM land in question already offers ample parking and great recreational opportunities to locals and visitors alike. There are already several private RV campgrounds in the area, a developed federal campground overlooking the reservoir just north of Alpine, and free campsites abound throughout greater Alpine. There is no need to invest public funds, implement a recreation fee area, develop campgrounds, or build a “log cabin cafe” — its in the proposal — up Stewart Trail.

Alpine and Etna only support a handful of restaurants conveniently located alongside the highway, so a cafe tucked up a side canyon in a residential area is practically guaranteed to flop. Campgrounds and recreation fee areas are not big money makers either, and I believe development of this area would be a net drain on local government finances.

There is no need to develop or maintain trash and toilet facilities at what should be a primitive trailhead where most people just go to walk their dogs, ride their horses, ski, hunt, etc. Access is obviously important, and implementing fees at an already accessible area only limits access.

As a resident of the Town of Alpine this proposed development would not affect my neighborhood, but I feel for the homeowners along Stewart Trail who would be directly affected, especially the folks whose homes are located directly across the road from the proposed RV campground. There are several homes located less than 150′ from the proposed RV campground, and if I were in their shoes I would be extremely concerned about the possibility of having new batches of noisy neighbors coming and going all summer long.

I can see how hired consultants from Jackson Hole might think this is a good idea, but Lincoln County is not Teton County, and most residents of Alpine agree that the overdevelopment trend of Teton County is not needed or wanted here. As a former resident of Teton County I remember when it felt a lot more “wild” up there. I moved to Alpine to regain that feeling of freedom and to escape the crowds and costs associated with overdevelopment.

God bless Wyoming, and keep it wild!

Thank you for your consideration,

Max Mogren

Alpine, WY