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Everyone Is Afraid of Mountains Conservancy

November 20, 1994

Susan Genelin's Oct. 2 article on the Ahmanson Ranch project is right on the mark.

The many deals of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy are doing the mountains more harm than good. Something strange works within the webs of the conservancy. What kind of convoluted mandate is it to turn Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy property over to state and federal park once "public use" improvements have been made--that is, once shopping malls, congestion, tract homes and golf courses have been established? It's about time someone had the courage to speak up about this deplorable situation.

There is plenty of discontent among environmentalists with the way the conservancy does business. The trouble is, everyone is scared to speak up. The government employees certainly can't. They might lose their jobs. Neither can the individual groups interested in saving this or that canyon. They all know Joe Edmiston's conservancy has cornered all the land purchase money and he controls all the spigots. If a group opposes what he is doing, he threatens to pull the funding from their pet projects.

You won't find many legislators of influential constituents criticizing the conservancy either. Isn't there anyone with the courage and authority to save the public from this outrageous waste of public funds?

WILLIAM MASLACH

Encino

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