The first meeting of the new Friends of Stampede attracted 20 people to the Panguingue Creek Fire Hall on October 30. Discussions about the need and purpose for a Friends group revealed a shared belief that there were pressing issues which could be successfully addressed by a citizens group and identified two distinct strategies for the group to pursue. Some attendees were very interested in advancing the idea of a designated Stampede State Recreation Area, which would bring with it both a management plan and staff. Not only could a Friends group demonstrate local commitment to the recreation area, but such a group could help shape the legislation. Other attendees favored direct action, noting opportunities to better communicate existing rules to users, organize garbage pickups, and work with DNR’s Division of Mining, Land, and Water to facilitate better land management in the Stampede area.
In the end, it did not seem that the two objectives were mutually exclusive, and the group is enthusiastically moving forward on both tasks. The next meeting will be Sunday, November 14 at 7:00pm at the Panguingue Creek Fire Hall. Anyone wishing more information or to add their name to the mailing list should call Hannah Ragland at 683-0333 or e-mail to FriendsofStampede@gmail.com.