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December 06, 2017


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I'm all for the festival. More traffic for four days? Why is that an issue? It happens during every football game...ALL SEASON.
I'm all for environmental safety but has this well organized event ever had problems with that?
Farmers, because of their "status", make issues of every little issue that causes them a little inconvenience. I worked as an operator on county and state roads all my career and never failed to have them complaining about the inconvenience road construction caused them.
Any worthwhile event or celebration brings traffic. That's the nature of them.
Grocery stores are so crowded that one almost always bumps or nearly does while shopping. THERE ARE MORE OF US!
Music elevates so many people from life's calamities, it seems that the inclusion of singing, dancing, and enjoyment would be welcomed by all.

Curious, you seem to raise the proximity of the refuge as a justification for denial of the permit but don't offer any specific items of concern other than increased traffic on the road adjacent to the refuge during the event. Traffic isn't a potential problem, it's an expected reality with an event of this size. So what are the specific environmental and other concerns?

Full disclosure, I have been a regular attendee of the event in Brownsville over the last 6 years. This is a very well run event from a logistics, public safety, environmental stewardship, and community integration perspective.

Not Even Wrong, the Brownsville event obviously wasn't held right next to a National Wildlife Refuge. Reports from people who volunteered at the Brownsville festival have spoken of drunken people vomiting on shuttle buses. It's difficult to believe that with 60,000 people tromping around next to the refuge for four days, there isn't going to be some environmental damage. Plus, the simple fact of making the refuge inaccessible to visitors for those four days is disturbing. Farmers in the area worry about not being able to get to their fields for that period of time. There are good reasons for concern, and I'm sure I haven't touched on all of those reasons, since I'm not directly involved with the opposition to this event.

This festival must really be bad if the tiny town of Brownsville is willing to turn down millions of dollars.

Some of the farms around Ankeny are nearing century farms. They have paid taxes on their lands since before the 1900’s. They have worked out an agreeable and advantageous conservation plan for wildlife in the area.

I farm near here. I am also an avid cyclist, and these are the safest roads I can ride a bike. I see mothers on the street walking with strollers; it is just that safe out there. We will not be able to use the area the same, not just for a few days, but for the weeks it takes to set the infrastructure of the festival up. It will ruin the entire summer for everyone, including the wildlife we all cherish to see.

This area is ionic, unique and unspoiled. No one wants to change that. The compacting of the soil, invasion of the nesting and food source of the wildlife, and road safety will be taken from those who have cared for the area and paid the taxes for decades. Brownsville is a unique NW town more suitable for sustaining the impact of this festival’s thousands of people, than the delicately balanced ecosystem of Ankeny. You cannot control all the sanitary issues, noise, trespass, and wildlife abuse, and other infrastructure abuse this festival would inflict on its existing farming/ecosystem community. Just setting it up would permanently damage the ecology, much less over 60,000 sets of feet on the wetlands.

Whoever thought of this, does not care to keep Ankeny a refuge for wildlife.

I will not financially benefit from this festival, in fact, it will increase my property taxes for infrastructure changes, and cause my insurance to go up because God forbid a drunk festival goer falls in my drainage ditch and drowns. It will interfere with farming activity, farm trucks, and field burning. Because of these issues, the festival will demand we change the infrastructure such as the roads and ruin the beauty of the deep watershed that runs alongside them.

No, Ankeny would be damaged for a tinsel town show. Not on my dime. I go there to hear the birds, and August is a vital time for migrating birds that simply will be forced to leave. The whole summer experience would be ruined. Stay in Brownsville or go to Enchanted Forest, or a fairground – or better yet, find another state to hold your show.

The location is a big mistake. The number of people expected, at 60,000 is more than any outdoor festival previously held. The roads going into this area are narrow two-way farm roads. Shorebirds use the refuge at this time as a stop on their migration route. Why hold such an event right next to a wildlife refuge? People attending such venues tend to be in a celebratory mood, which means alcohol and drugs are in use. Traffic, trash, noise and human waste will all be problems! Say NO to this location!

Not a good place to have a music festival at all. Federal land, wildlife and tens of thousands of humans crowded in are not a good fit.

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