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Developers, projects knocking on national park gates

Developers, projects knocking on national park gates
A proposed solar project near the Mojave Natioal Preserve has environmentalists concerned. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Author Jacques Leslie rightly calls attention to the threat massive energy projects pose to America's national parks.

( "An assault on our national parks," Opinion, Aug. 14)

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Historic sites on public lands across the country are threatened by large-scale, shortsighted projects that disrupt iconic landscapes and degrade the visitor experience.

Unfortunately, this is a two-front battle. The reality is that many parks are also crumbling — facing dilapidated roads, rotting historic buildings, eroding trails and outdated public buildings.

Rather than auctioning off the land around our national parks to the highest bidders, and ignoring the real and growing maintenance needs in our parks, let's urge Congress to be better public stewards of this system of parks that has served our nation so well for the last century.

Stephanie Meeks, Washington

The writer is the president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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To the editor: Another upsetting article about the ongoing encroachment of developers near our national parks and preserves.

Here's an idea: There are billions of buildings across this planet, why aren't solar panels installed on the roof of every store, shopping center, warehouse, industrial park — at least here in the U.S.A.? Yes, there are government regulations to deal with, but that's true whether it's in urban areas or in the middle of "nowhere."

There are already large buildings in the desert (such as distribution centers). Those are the first places where such roof-top solar panels should be built. Leave the remaining wild places for the wild.

Jan Rasmussen, Lakewood

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To the editor: I am one of about 70 nationally known scientists who recently signed on to a letter opposing the Soda Mountain Solar Project because of the grave harm it would cause to the Mojave National Preserve — the third largest national park unit in the Lower 48 states — and to the bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, vegetation, wildlife connectivity, groundwater, birds, scenic vistas and air quality contained therein.

From the point of view of the scientific community, there is simply no reason why the Soda project should move forward next to a national park boundary where it will cause irreparable ecosystem damage to one of our national treasures.

Bruce Pavlik, Salt Lake City

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