Park ranger receives award for helping save man’s life

Frostburg resident recently transferred to Deep Creek Lake

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Maryland Park Ranger David Best, who recently transferred to Deep Creek Lake State Park, was among several staff members of Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary’s County who were honored with Maryland Park Service Valor Awards for their quick response in aiding a park visitor who suffered a life-threatening laceration.

The incident occurred in August when the victim dropped a razor-sharp fillet knife that lacerated his lower right leg.

Best, a resident of Frostburg, initiated a team response and rapidly located the victim at a campsite in the Hoffman area of the park after park staff received an emergency call for an unknown injury in the park. Park rangers were assisting a tractor-trailer that was stuck in a ditch when the emergency call was received. The only word heard by responders was “man” before the call was lost.

Responders, campground Host Ed Dugans and seasonal ranger Joe Raley found the 79-year-old victim sitting upright and bleeding profusely.

While Dugans and Raley worked to cut off the blood flow, seasonal employee George Gatton arrived with Best and began more extensive first aid. Park Rangers Bill Moffatt and Cliff Puffenberger provided escort for responding Natural Re-sources Police officers and the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad. The victim regained full consciousness and was transported to a nearby hospital.

Individuals awarded recently at the Maryland Park Service Employee Field Day at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Baltimore County included Best, Raley, Dugans and Gatton.

Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina said, “Once again, we see why it is so important that our Maryland Park rangers are trained as first responders. I’m very proud of the rangers’ quick thinking and action, which helped to save a life.”

The Valor Award is presented to individuals who perform an extraordinary action which is attributable to saving a life, attempting to save a life, preventing or attempting to prevent property or revenue loss, or involving public safety.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Friends of Deep Creek seek to protect lake from degradation

OAKLAND — Friends of Deep Creek Lake, a Garrett County watershed organization, submitted a proposal for the creation of a Deep Creek Lake Restoration Fund at the Tuesday meeting of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners.

The proposal came about in response to the aging of the Deep Creek Lake reservoir, which was created by the construction of the Deep Creek Dam in 1923. According to Friends of Deep Creek Lake, as the lake grows older, invasive vegetation and lower water quality lessen its recreational value and use as a natural resource. Friends of Deep Creek Lake believes that federal funding, state assistance and a more active role for Garrett County are necessary to combat this natural degradation.

According to Barbara Beeler, member of the Friends of Deep Creek Lake board, the degradation of the lake will result in economic consequences in impacted areas. The detrimental effects of aging could lead to decreased property and housing values and lower tax revenues for Garrett County. “All of us — county, users, beneficiaries — we’re all going to be impacted by the continuing decline of the lake,” said Beeler.

Friends of Deep Creek Lake’s proposal features three main components. The first is the creation of a Deep Creek Lake Restoration Action Plan. “We need to make a lake policy from the bottom up,” said Beeler. Friends of Deep Creek Lake suggests that the plan include a variety of restoration and maintenance programs for such tasks as fighting the existing impacts of lake aging, eliminating algae blooms, reducing sediment and nutrient runoff, and upgrading septic systems.

The second is a means of funding the restoration. One of the primary obstacles to a restoration project would be the lack of available funds due to the current economic climate. According to Friends of Deep Creek Lake, funding for the Department of Natural Resources’ Lake Management Division comes only from dock permit fees, and the majority of this money is spent paying operating fees and taxes. Friends of Deep Creek Lake believes that federal money is necessary for the project.

“Until the economic crisis goes away, we’re really stifled,” said Commission Chairman Denny Glotfelty. “It’s impossible to get the state to move right now.”

Finally, the proposal includes a call for leadership for the restoration effort. The proposal suggests the formation of a working group that would lay groundwork for the plan, raise funds, and lobby for Deep Creek Lake in state and federal venues.

Along with the lack of available funding, another obstacle to the proposal is the fact that the lake is owned by the state rather than Garrett County. This makes it difficult for Garrett County to create an action plan regarding the lake as Friends of Deep Creek Lake’s proposal intends.

“It’s Maryland’s water. Whether it’s private or state property, it’s their water. That’s the problem,” said Glotfelty, who added that action regarding the lake is necessary. “We’ve got an 85-year-old lady that we’re trying to give a face-lift to right now.”

The commission did not act on the proposal during Tuesday’s meeting. It will be discussed further at the next meeting of the Deep Creek Lake Policy and Review Board, beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Route 219 bypass would relieve traffic congestion

Interesting letter to the editor:

Route 219 bypass would relieve traffic congestion

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

The U.S. Route 219 Bypass around Oakland should’ve been done yesterday! Traffic congestion is terrible!

New businesses are being built, and deliveries have to made, and it’s bad enough for delivery trucks to get through, besides other trucks that have a scheduled delivery to make, but none in Oakland. A few examples include trucks trying to deliver mobile homes, heavy equipment, and roof rafters. With new businesses, perhaps the older ones in town will lower their prices for the full-time residents of the area to afford. Too much is focused on the customers that are visiting at Deep Creek Lake.

Not only is it hard for people to drive through Oakland, but it’s hard for pedestrians to get across the street, and with the bypass, response times for the local fire department will probably be cut. The fire department is in the middle of town. From the map of the proposed bypass, the only real farm that will be lost is not even farmed anymore. In fact, the land that hay and other crops come off of is for sale. If the bypass doesn’t use it, perhaps another business will?

The group that is against the bypass should be called “People Against The Proposed Bypass.” That’s all they focus their attention on. They say nothing about trees around the lake being destroyed to build condominiums, and so on. I wonder if any of them utilize Interstate 68, or do they drive through Friendsville, Grantsville, Frostburg, and so on, if they don’t travel U.S. Route 220 to Cumberland ?

Bill Detrick

Oakland

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350