Your May 25 editorial about Sen. Barbara Boxer's proposed California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act is a valid assessment of the need for wilderness. Unfortunately it didn't go very deep. The enemy of wilderness is the population explosion that has been tearing the planet asunder for many years.
Californians must demand that our government curb both legal and illegal immigration. We also must increase efforts at more-effective contraception and provide the same to developing countries throughout the world. It is not a solution to their overpopulation problems to admit them here to continue to increase at the expense of American workers and our environment. Stabilizing our population is the first step in conserving wilderness, and our future.
Lee W. Miller
Your editorial doesn't give a true perspective on what the wilderness designations mean. Your claim that "wilderness allows humans to enjoy the land with minimal impact" is true for only the most hardy of individuals. Most people aren't aware that wilderness means exclusion. Only hikers and horseback riders can enter a wilderness, with what food they can carry with them.
Wilderness is a designation that discriminates against the very young, the elderly and the handicapped. Existing roads are destroyed at taxpayers' expense in a designated wilderness. Who really benefits from land set aside so that no one will ever be allowed to visit it?
California's ever-shrinking wilderness is important not only to the people who like to use these areas for recreation but also for the local communities. Campers, hikers and skiers often spend money in nearby towns, buying lunch or supplies, or sleeping at the local inn. Many of these communities rely on business from visitors in order to maintain their economies.
When a logging or mining company clear-cuts the land, it provides jobs only for a limited time. The land is stripped of economic value, and the local communities are left high and dry. These companies want the resources from our local wilderness areas because it is more economical for them, but maintaining our wilderness is the most economical thing for California's populace.
If we can pass the California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, it will not only save forests and mountains, it will save jobs.