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Visitor experience in national parks

November 27, 2006

Re "Camp? Outside? Um, no thanks," Nov. 24

The Times seems to paint a bleak picture in its article on the 10-year decline of national park visitors. But it seems like just yesterday that articles were touting our parks as being overpopulated and overrun. Although I think it is important that everyone gets in touch with the majesty of nature in our awesome national parks, I am grateful that the crowds are thinning. Let the boomers take their cruises and families hit the themed commercial parks. I will relish the quiet, the solitude and the beauty of nature in exactly the way it was intended when our national parks were created.

RANDY WINBIGLER

Cathedral City

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Re "A walk in the park," editorial, Nov. 24

I wonder if the writer of this editorial ever visited Yellowstone in the winter? Either by mini-snow bus or snowmobile? Granted, the machines are noisy, but you are restricted on the speed and the trails you can take in the park, and animals are not afraid of the snowmobiles. When we visited the park by snowmobile, we often had to stop for the buffalo, which were not afraid of the snowmobiles. Neither were the elk and deer grazing in the meadows close to the road. The pollution from the snowmobiles was minimal and no more than the thousands of cars that visit during the snowless season. I would say, let them continue to use the park and work on reducing the noise levels of snowmobiles and mini-snow buses.

JOEL MASCITELLI

Corona del Mar

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