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'Protection for the Desert'

April 15, 1988

To say that your editorial was naive and shallow would be an understatement.

The Cranston bill's "wilderness" designation will forever prohibit entry other than by foot or horseback, including camping, utility (water, electricity, natural gas, etc.) corridors, vital natural resources access and crucial national defense operations and research, just to name a few.

The economic, employment and tax-base impact of this bill is so far into the billions, as are the costs for implementation and administration, that they are incalculable. While this bill was authored by one, single special-interest group (without any input from other private or government sources), there are over 300 groups opposing it. These range from 18 California counties to retired and youth organizations to the Department of Defense.

The immensity of the proposed bill is so sweeping that its ramifications are virtually unknown by either proponents or opponents. For example, with the vast closures to recreation that it would create, how could our already heavily overburdened parks and forest systems handle the literal invasion of 6 to 10 million desert visitors?

Rather than the BLM, The Times editorial is the real "myth-producer" regarding the incalculable impact of this bill.

The BLM desert use plan may be flawed, but it is a responsible study of and for all desert users and environmental interests. Conversely, Cranston's bill is sledge hammer environmentalism which serves only the interests of a tiny, fractional group. Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) serves California's constituency best by supporting Cranston's original legislation--the BLM desert use plan.



La Crescenta

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