EDITORíS DESK: Red Rock Canyon: Pond issue surfaces

       As can be seen in the photos on Page 1, the water-level drop in Red Rock Canyon's ponds has been pretty dramatic (not to mention ugly). From an outdoorsy standpoint, it's hard not to like the Friends of Red Rock Canyon volunteers' push for a permanent water line to the upper pond so as to keep it always looking like the "before" photo. Their "save the pond" strategy is also attractive from a taxpayer standpoint, considering that it includes an aggressive fundraising effort that would ideally cover project costs without the need of government funds.
       The pond issue adds a unique twist to the resumption of the public master-plan process for Red Rock Canyon Open Space Aug. 1. Now, alert readers might point out that Red Rock already was master-planned with citizen help back in 2004, but the fact is that the city's recent acquisitions of two neighboring properties - Section 16 with 640 acres and White Acres with 45 - mainly using Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales tax dollars, nearly doubled the size of its open-space holdings above the Westside. So it's possible to follow the city's reasoning on why a whole new master plan, encompassing those properties' unique and interrelated features, is necessary.
       While the pond issue is fun and will probably unify a lot of folks, another topic emerged in the initial Red Rock master-plan effort last year and has so far resisted kumbaya efforts. It's about designing and locating trails to suit all user types. Can hikers, bikers and horse people get along? Or are too many of them (in pond parlance) "all wet" and acting like "stick-in the-muds"?

- K.J.