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Saving Wilderness Ignores Needs of People

June 16, 2002

Re "Wilderness as Legacy," Editorial, May 25:

I take exception to The Times' editorial in support of Sen. Barbara Boxer's proposed California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2002. The editorial belies the facts of California's wilderness space and the needs of the state's people.

State and federal resource statistics suggest that California is composed of roughly 100 million acres. Just 5%, or 5 million acres, is dedicated to commercial, industrial and residential development. This minuscule percentage is supposed to provide for the needs of about 35 million people.

If Boxer wants to limit public access to more wilderness areas, she should offer companion legislation to designate additional land for the use by our state's people. That would help provide needed housing opportunities for families who are now doubling and tripling up to buy homes. Maybe then we all wouldn't be so crammed into artificial "growth boundaries" created to protect the wilderness she is trying to save.

Lucy Dunn

Coto de Caza

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