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Recovering from the fires

September 17, 2009

Re "Taking back the Angeles," Editorial, Sept. 13

I hope the fire is not used as an excuse to make many areas and trails off limits for years to come -- or at all.

The purpose of wilderness and forest preservation is for public use and appreciation. To differ slightly from your editorial: We don't love it to death, we just love it.

The wilderness experience includes experiencing and being educated by all of its variants -- including post-fire devastation and the joy of seeing the first signs of recovery through the seasons. We have needlessly been deprived of this in the two-year Harding Canyon closure.

Quick reopening for public use will aid the Forest Service in identifying areas for repair, and many users will do minor repairs as they go.

Jerry Diaz

Santa Ana

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The Times was hiking the right trail in its inspirational editorial. Forest restoration will certainly require citizen volunteers.

The Student Conservation Assn. has pledged to bring our youth conservation force to bear on the task.

The SCA will work with the Forest Service to help rebuild trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and restore fish and wildlife habitat. We will work alongside the L.A. Conservation Corps and the California Conservation Corps.

Congress will have to make funding available to support recovery efforts and pass legislation to empower nonprofit conservation corps. Foundations, corporations and private citizens must also get engaged and help underwrite recovery and restoration projects.

Working together, we can indeed take back the Angeles and restore it to its glory.

Jay Thomas Watson

Oakland

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As an initial good-faith gesture, the Angeles National Forest management should offer restitution to the victims of the fire that roared from its land onto its neighbors'. A number of homes were destroyed because of the danger coming from the forest.

The forest should have liability for the fire that it failed to contain within its own boundaries. The best way to minimize fires is to provide financial incentives to those whose lands have dangerous accumulations of brush fuel, which can spread to neighboring properties.

Carl Olson

Woodland Hills

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