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Effort to Preserve Sandstone Canyon

March 18, 1993

I have just finished reading the article "Canyon Is the Prize in One Man's Struggle," about the development of Sandstone Canyon in Diamond Bar. I was particularly struck by the quote from James DeStefano, Diamond Bar's community development director.

Mr. DeStefano said, ". . . we recognize we have a responsibility to look at the broader needs of the community and . . . believe the benefits outweigh the detriments."

I found it extremely ironic that Mr. DeStefano uses the argument of "the broader needs of the community."

His definition of "broader" clearly extends only to the economic community of Diamond Bar itself, ignoring the broader context of people who will not be able to afford the $500,000 homes planned for the canyon, the plants and wildlife that depend on the canyon for their existence, or the greater needs of the environment as a whole.

I acknowledge the dilemma noted by Planning Commission Chairman Bruce Flamenbam when he said, "I'd like to preserve everything, but then where do we live?" Mr. Flamenbam presents yet another example of the fallacy of choice between human needs and the environment.

The continued existence of nearly 800 coastal live oaks, critical habitat for sensitive species, and corridors that allow wildlife to live side-by-side with humans must weigh more heavily in the balance.



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