The obvious solution
The FCFP manage the Tom Rider Trust for Rider Park. There is uncertainty on how the FCFP ended up with managing the Rider Park Trust because they are money managers, not land managers. Originally, this was why there was a Rider Park Board that included a Nature Specialist, Law Enforcement, and a member of the Rider Family. This Board was disbanded when disagreement over gas leasing at Rider Park surfaced; a new Board was appointed. When the public became aware that Rider Park was in danger of being leased there was an outcry which helped to ensure any lease would be a non evasive lease.
The FCFP went from having all volunteer help to having to pay employees due to the direction they are trying to take the park. Money is being generated to care for the park but it appears less is being done for the parks care. This is not what Tom Rider envisioned. If the Friends of Rider Park would organize a non profit 501 3C with a Board that included a Nature Specialist, Law Enforcement, a Forester, and a family member, request the transfer of Surface Rights and management of the Trust to be handled by this group, Rider Park could once again be run by volunteers who would have the passion for keeping Tom Riders legacy alive.
Trails would be maintained, new trails and vistas could be added, overflow parking addressed, wild flowers could be brought back, and law enforcement once again in place. Additionally the entrance road is in need of grading, proper drainage and resurfaced. This would be a win-win situation for the FCFP and the public.
The FCFP would still maintain the millions in royalties without all the liability of the park. Liability appears to be a primary response from the FCFP when the public asks for maintenance and security. The public would have a park developed to its full natural potential and taken care of people who know and love nature. Seems so simple, put differences aside and give the public what Tom Rider wanted them to have.
Harry (Skip) Stackhouse
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