Re “Saving the untrampled,” March 22
Thanks to The Times for introducing many to the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area. It is California's best-kept secret -- a place where our state's diverse natural landscapes come together and can still be seen unspoiled.
It has valleys where elk graze on wildflower prairies stretching as far as the eye can see, just as John Muir described them in 1868. Deeply shadowed old-growth forests -- home to Pacific giant salamanders, banana slugs, Pacific fishers and blue grouse -- extend north to Alaska but begin in this area.
Red fir and snow-clad alpine peaks are there too. So are strange ecological islands where the collision between North America and the Pacific has squeezed the Earth's deepest mantle to its surface and created places where species found nowhere else can thrive.
All the world's great hot spots of biodiversity and natural scenic beauty are not in remote places. One is just a short journey from California's great cities.
The writer is an ecologist.
As a U.S. congressman, I spent many years working on legislative efforts to protect the environment.
Now my wife and I live in the Capay Valley in Yolo County, near the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area. We have joined local efforts to protect this unique landscape near our farm.
Local nonprofit Tuleyome and its partner organizations have been working hard and successfully to gain broad-based local community support for this designation of the federal lands by Congress.
A national conservation area designation provides effective public input into the management of the federal lands and allows federal agencies to share staff and resources across agency lines.
In elevating the status of this large patchwork of federal lands, recreational opportunities will be an integral part of the mix and the local communities in the region will reap significant benefits.
Healthcare gains and pain
Re “State takes healthcare bullet,” Column, March 25
The Times' Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton writes of the healthcare expansion, which officials estimate will cost California $2 billion to $3 billion each year: "This may be a terrific and historic program, but it is going to cost the state money. We shouldn't kid ourselves."
Question: Where have you been on this issue the last 12 months?
Such threats aren't new
Re “Democrats face threats after health vote,” March 25
The "tea party" members who posted the private addresses of Democratic officials intended only one thing: to incite violence. If they were truly interested in civilized discourse with these officials, they all could have been reached through public channels.
The true nature of the tea party movement is revealed. They do not care about democracy. They do not care about the United States of America. They care only that their ideology triumphs by any means necessary -- including violence and intimidation.
This is their vision for America: a world where dissent is met with threat and retribution and differences are resolved with bricks and guns.
The banner of patriotism these people wrap themselves in does nothing to conceal the beast of hatred and oppression that lies within.
Are some of us terrorists?
The U.S. Congress -- Democratic and Republican -- is the first line of defense for our democracy.
Any attack on a congressional representative should be looked on as a threat to our national security and the well-being of this country.
Those who feel it is their right to express anger about the decisions our governing body makes by threatening their lives should be treated as what they are -- terrorists.
In the past, the Department of Homeland Security has wasted no time in investigating and applying the law against those it deemed a threat to this nation's sovereignty. Where is it now?
Steven A. Apodaca
Members of Congress are complaining that they are getting threats because of the healthcare legislation.
Funny, when a criminal or terrorist is caught, these same people -- and the media -- ask what we did to cause this behavior. Why aren't the media and Congress asking what is causing the people to rise up and protest their actions?
It seems that Congress just wants to garner sympathy and play the victim. But I don't think this is going to work.
Millions of pink slips were sent to our members of Congress, explaining that if they voted for this bill, we the people would vote them out.
I wait for November, so that all those who sent the pink slips can follow up on their promises.
Republican hatemongers preach that a young first-term Democratic president is somehow illegitimate.
They say he is a communist and of the wrong ethnic background and religion.