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Protection of Gnatcatcher

April 22, 1993

At first glance, it may seem that Babbitt made a reasonable decision to protect some larger sage scrub habitats while allowing development in other Southern California coastal canyons, which are home to the gnatcatcher.

But, as Babbitt listed the gnatcatcher songbird as "threatened" under the Federal Endangered Species Act, he unfortunately has allowed Gov. Pete Wilson's voluntary conservation program to take the lead. While liking to pose as a moderate and environmentalist, Wilson nearly always chooses industry over the environment.

Here are two clear examples of the governor's leanings. Wilson is doing the bidding of most of the big timber companies with his Board of Forestry appointees and his support for the "Grand Accord." Wilson also reneged on his promises to conduct adjudicatory hearings on the proposal to build a massive radioactive waste dump with unlined trenches at Ward Valley, which is near major Southern California water supplies.

BRUCE CAMPBELL

Los Angeles

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