Hagerstown workers hunt on watershed land

October 25, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Two City of Hagerstown employees have permission to hunt at the Edgemont Watershed, even though a hunting ban was imposed in that area last year.

City utilities director Mike Spiker explained the situation Wednesday in response to complaints from a Pleasant Valley resident who claimed the city was exercising unfair hunting practices.

Spiker said during a telephone interview that the hunting ban was imposed for safety reasons.

The employees, whom Spiker declined to identify, are permitted to hunt on the city-owned property in exchange for doing work at the watershed on their own time, he said. Some of the jobs that the employees performed included painting signs and marking the watershed's boundaries, he said.

Spiker said the city has owned the property for about 75 years and is committed to preserving it, despite an ongoing problem with some people who illegally dump trash there.


"It's a constant battle," he said.

The city owns roughly 2,040 acres of land in the watershed, according to Washington County documents.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently removed a dam in the watershed that will let trout swim through, Spiker said.

When he was asked whether the city would open the land to hunting and fishing in the future, Spiker said that decision would be up to the Hagerstown City Council.

He said he plans to give the council an update on the watershed in about three weeks.

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