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Keep Motorboats Off Belmont Lake

Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials are considering a plan to allow use of motorized boats on Belmont Lake in Barkcamp State Park. It’s a bad idea.

A public meeting concerning the proposal is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. today in the Community Room at the Ohio Valley Mall.

Criticism has surfaced already. “It’s too small to have gas motors,” Richard Coe, co-owner of a bait shop in Lafferty, said of the 117-acre lake.

Indeed, the body of water is relatively small, even if ODNR officials enforce a low-speed rule, as planned.

Barkcamp is one of the natural gems of Belmont County, attracting many visitors who want just a few hours of enjoyment in the outdoors. Canoes, kayaks and other human-powered craft fit into that environment. Motorboats do not.

Those who use motorized watercraft have plenty of places to enjoy them in our area. The Ohio River comes to mind. Seneca Lake and Tappan Lake do, too.

Why not just leave Barkcamp’s lake as it is — a place where the only thing intruding on the peace and quiet is the sound of oars and paddles dipping into the water?

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