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Debate Over Desert Use

July 05, 1988

The ones who truly missed the point is The Times, not Secretary of the Interior Donald Hodel. In its support of Sen. Alan Cranston's desert wilderness bill, The Times overlooks the fact that the bill is a high-handed means for Sen. Cranston and environmental extremists to wrest control of public lands away from public control. The bill ignores and bypasses hundreds of hours of public hearings held by the BLM in determining a Congress-mandated, long-range plan for the California desert; hearings that have made the BLM as responsive to public input as any bureaucracy can be.

The BLM is criticized by The Times for being "wedded to a hybrid, self-conflicting concept known as multiple use." That is precisely why the BLM should continue to be entrusted with the management of the California Desert.

Multiple use works when there is a certain amount of respect by one group for the rights of another.

CONSTANTINE H.

KOUTZOUKIS

Chino Hills

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