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Some Reasons to Save the Whittier Hills

December 12, 1991

In the article "Forces Line Up For, Against Developing Hillside Area" (Times, Dec. 8), you quote a Whittier resident who said, "People who are so sweet that they want to see birds and bees are not thinking rationally. There are areas they can go to." What a terribly misconceived and insulting statement. Sweet? Not thinking rationally?

Wild areas aren't just saved as places where humans go to see the birds and the bees. When the United States invented the national park, the parks were human playgrounds of natural wonders. And national forests were set aside to preserve natural resources for future human use.

But by 1964, we had started to designate parts of our country as wilderness areas, places where humans are only visitors. Now ecologists and other scientists tell us we need big sections of wild nature in all ecosystems for the Earth to function properly. The Whittier Hills represent a chance to save and restore a piece of what is left of wild Southern California.

I personally believe the creatures that live in the Whittier Hills have a right to the least disturbed home possible. As a holder of a bachelor of science degree in geosciences and as a high school science teacher, I know the evidence, and see the need for a healthy, well-functioning planet.

There is even a real good, selfish, human-centered reason to save the hills that I can agree with. The Whittier Hills are our Walden. If we save the hills, many future Henry David Thoreaus (or John Muirs or Aldo Leopolds or Rachel Carsons) will discover nature and themselves in this wild piece of world in their own back yard.

And as Thoreau said in "Walking," "in Wildness is the preservation of the World."

BRUCE GORDON CROCKER

Whittier

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