I feel the time has come
by Jack Stone
As Stone Harbor approaches the close of our 10th year, it is a time of reflection.
When I opened the store, I made it clear to my staff that we are welcoming to all. Kayakers treated the same as folks with motorboats. Cross country skiers the same as snowmobiles. Yes, we are a silent sport store and always will be, but we welcome all, no matter what they want to do with their leisure time or their political beliefs. Or in the case of the election year, who they support. All are welcome in our store.
That being said, I feel the time has come when I step up and make my feelings clear on a couple of issues. I want you to know that these are my beliefs and you don’t have to agree with me to be welcome in Stone Harbor. And please don’t argue with my team about how I feel. They are a great group of people and may or may not agree with me on these points.
The first thing is lead tackle. All lead tackle has been removed from our shelves. Right now, we are trying to find a way to dispose of what we have. The state has been very good about making folks aware of the dangers of lead. Maybe you can help me dispose of it, as the state is no help. I have been told to give it to local guys who melt it down and make downriggers for Lake Superior. In my mind we would be taking little pieces of lead and making them big pieces of lead and dumping them in the lake. Or, I could take them to a local disposal site (the nearest being in Duluth) and dump it there. My concern is that the tackle will just end up in someone’s tackle box.
That one was easy. On an even more serious note, after a few years of ambivalence I am getting quite adamant about copper-nickel mining. We hear mostly about how bad it could be for the BWCAW. However, I am also concerned about Lake Superior. Stone Harbor depends on Lake Superior. It is an international waterway. It is important to keep it clean. It can always be cleaner than it is today and I am interested in what we can do in Cook County to protect this beautiful resource. I am not convinced the mining companies have the best interests of our area and our children’s future in their plans.
There are other issues that need to be addressed by all of us. You can have your opinions and I appreciate that and I don’t hold that against you. The problem with all these issues is that people get very passionate about them. I respect that. I also agree to disagree. Don’t let politics get in the way of a great experience at Stone Harbor.