* Though it may be an economy dependent on tourism ("The Battle for Big Bear," Dec. 5), there is more to it than squirrels and owls; there's the increase in traffic as more people converge on the new slopes, bringing an increase in pollution, parking problems and all the other problems associated with too many people.
Dick Kun's (Snow Summit) statement that "environmental rules and regulations are a danger to our way of life, and are unnecessary," is so blatantly ignorant that it's obvious his only concern is lining his own pockets. But I guess Rich McGarry (Bear Mountain) said it all, "We're here, selling the environmental experience."
VICKIE R. COLEMAN
* Any outdoorsman who has hiked the Sierra as well as flown over it knows that an $80,000 study of the squirrels and spotted owls could not possibly be conclusive. I'm not sure that with the way our government presently (mis)spends the funds we provide, it could come up with a conclusive study for $80 million!
That same outdoorsman could also safely say that with the millions of acres of space presently available, dedicating a couple hundred more in an area that is already well used by man would not unduly affect the animal population. Sometimes I think the animals cope with this sort of thing better than we do!
Perhaps a compromise is in order. Rather than land for land, why don't the two parties consider having the ski areas sponsor outings for inner-city kids who can't afford them in exchange for their expansions? If just one kid gets hooked on the outdoors and one life is spared because of this, it would be well worth the effort.