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Some Give a Hoot for Wildlife

July 15, 1990

In "Who Gives a Hoot for Home Buyers?" (Speaking Out, July 1), Hugh Hewitt has it backwards when he says economic growth is necessary to finance endangered species protection. Economic growth fuels the land development, which is pushing many species toward extinction in Southern California.

Less economic growth would result in less habitat loss, in addition to less of some of the other "benefits" of growth, such as water shortages, polluted air, crowded school rooms, congested freeways and expensive housing.

Endangered species don't cause higher housing costs. Too much growth requiring finite resources does.

The economic costs of saving a species is not an issue. Many species may never have any economic value to us. How do we decide which species we can't "afford" to save? Attempting to maintain biodiversity without protecting each individual species would be like trying to determine which parts of a car engine aren't needed. How many parts can be removed before it ceases to run and then falls apart?

CARL D. RYKACZEWSKI

Grand Terrace

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