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BREAKING NEWS

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 9, 2009

It was just, plain stupid.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, vandals broke off railings on bridges at Fort Defiance State Park. On Tuesday, under direction of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Friends of Fort Defiance removed the exposed posts since replacing the railings as they were previously constructed would not have met current park safety standards.

As a result, the bridges will no longer have hand railings. While that might seem a little less safe, particularly for young children, it’s understandable why the DNR would choose to remove the railings. Parents will now just have to observe their children more closely when crossing the bridges.

It’s all the fault of the thoughtless, mindless vandals who tore the railings off the bridges and threw them in the creek. They have the Friends of Fort Defiance steaming hot – and that includes well over 200 people who visit the park on a regular basis. It’s actually somewhat surprising that the vandals got away with what they did because there are a large number of Friends members who visit the park regularly.

The vandalism was not against just the DNR. It was also directed against the Friends who have volunteered thousands of hours fixing up the park. They have lifted rocks and shoveled dirt and mud and rock and painted picnic benches and driven posts. They have done everything that could be expected of a park friends group – and more. It’s actually probably a good thing that the Friends weren’t working nearby with picks and shovels and rakes and crowbars when the vandalism occurred.

If you were the one who committed the vandalism, understand this – you have made a great number of enemies in Emmet County. If you think your thoughtless vandalism was funny or cool, you’re wrong. Friends members include people from 14 to their 70s and THEY’RE about the coolest bunch of people you’ll find.

Anyone who has information about the vandalism can call the Emmet County Sheriff’s office at 712-362-2639.