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Jordan Ranch

June 20, 1993

* The addition of Bob Hope's Jordan Ranch to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (June 4) was a tremendously satisfying climax to a struggle that the Wilderness Society and others have waged for five years. Hope's property features spectacular valley oaks and important wildlife habitat.

We hope that this success has driven home the importance of acquiring large parcels for this unique park. When Congress created the National Recreation Area in 1978, the goal was to assemble 36,000 acres for federal management by 1983. During the past decade, however, the National Park Service has invested most of its energy in the addition of small tracts. This piecemeal approach, coupled with inadequate funding from Washington, has produced disappointing results. Buoyed by the Jordan Ranch success, the Park Service should focus on other large areas.

Many people played a hand in the Jordan Ranch success. Special credit should go to Ventura County Supervisor Maria VanderKolk and Save Open Space. Long into the future, citizens who enjoy the 2,308 acres can thank these tireless workers for preventing the land from becoming a luxury-home development and a golf course.

DONALD J. HELLMANN

Vice President, Conservation

Wilderness Society, Washington

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