Shirley Creek Marina Debate - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/01/05 - Etoile

Shirley Creek Marina Debate

by Jessica Cervantez

Concern is flooding in between campers at Shirley Creek Marina and the Sam Rayburn Corps of Engineers. For years, the marina remained under the same ownership. Now, it's under new ownership. That means the corps has to make sure the marina complies with certain standards. Those standards would mean some campers would have to change their ways, and that is causing some controversy.

Martha Crowson, who has camped at that site for many years, said, "Our kids we're raised here and after 30 years they're going to tell us to go."

The same sentiment felt throughout the whole campground. These campers keep their trailers there all year round even when they're not there. The corps of engineers now says that is not allowed.

Ricky Raymond, Sam Rayburn Lake Manager for the Corps of Engineers, said, "Trailers go in and set up on a permanent basis and that's not the intent of a campground, others have to be able to set up on the campground."

Anytime the marina changes ownership, like it has within the past couple of years, the corps of engineers comes in to make sure everything is up to standard. But campers, like William Malone, who are mainly elderly and retired say they've lived this way for years.

Malone said, "We like to come out here and fish and we enjoy the neighbors out here."

The corps of engineers wants to compromise. They suggest leaving these campers in a storage area when they're not in use.

Chris Malone, another camper, said, "To move in and out, we're just not able to, we have amputees, people with heart problems...people who are not able to move around."

Long time campers want to be able to stay. And make the new rules apply to only new campers. It's a hot topic for many who make stops at CJ's bait shop.

Clayton Johnson, who owns a nearby bait shop, said, "The business going down to Shirley Creek, they'll stop and get cokes and drinks...bait and gas."

Campers fear what will happen if the change is enforced. But the corps of engineers is hopeful some type of agreement can be worked out, so hard feelings can be avoided.

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