June 21, 2022
Dear Friends – The decision to modify visitation rules for LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island property has been an extremely difficult one for LRCT.
Unfortunately, in recent years, particularly the last two, we’ve experienced a significant increase in misuse of LRCT’s shorefront and interior property on Rattlesnake Island. The problems have included use by non-LRCT members contrary to existing requirements, overnight camping, fires, trespassing onto non-LRCT property, people monopolizing the dock for long time periods, large groups with partying and other noisy activity, and disrespectful and threatening communications with Island residents.
Undoubtedly these problems have been caused by a small number of “bad apples.” Nonetheless, we concluded, reluctantly, that we had to make changes to ensure that the LRCT property is being used responsibly and to address the valid concerns of Rattlesnake Island residents who, collectively, were calling for LRCT to cease all public access to LRCT’s property from off of the Island.
One of LRCT’s highest priorities is acquiring and protecting lands that provide opportunities for public access, recreation, and enjoyment free of charge – such as the Castle in the Clouds, Red Hill, Copple Crown, Knights Pond, Sewall Woods, Center Harbor Woods, and Stonedam, Five Mile, Ragged, and Blanchard Islands, as well as many other LRCT properties around the Lakes Region. Therefore, it has been very important to us to attempt to figure out a way to address the problems at Rattlesnake to ensure that we could continue to provide LRCT members and their guests with the benefit of access to this resource.
We’ve devoted a great deal of time and effort to exploring and considering options for addressing the problems at Rattlesnake. While these new measures will create new burdens and expense for LRCT, we are hopeful that they will remedy the problems. We’ve also met with Marine Patrol and the Alton Police Department to review the new procedures and to enlist their assistance, within the scope off their respective responsibilities. In addition, we hope to offer a number of scheduled hikes with LRCT guides to provide opportunities for additional LRCT members and guests to visit the Island.
We hope LRCT members will understand that we are doing our best to responsibly steward this special property and be a respectful/responsible neighbor to the other Island landowners while working on behalf of our membership to provide the benefit of access to LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island property.