Opinion

Shrinking national monuments isn't what John Muir had in mind

To the editor: John Muir, the father of our national parks, would be in tears to witness the gutting of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, two of the world's truly unique natural and historical sites. (“In an unprecedented action, Trump dramatically shrinks two national monuments in Utah,” Dec. 4)

My late wife and I felt privileged to have hiked several times in both these areas of distinctive beauty — filled with literally thousands of petroglyphs, pictographs and cliff dwellings — all preserved for hundreds of years.

In the long run, is drilling for more carbon-emitting fuel sources really worth tearing apart these one-of-a-kind areas? Do we really want to take these irreplaceable locales from the enjoyment of present and future generations?

I don’t think Muir would.

Ken Daponte, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: Please get a map out of the Western states, including Alaska, and get one that shows the land that is federally owned, including national monuments, national parks, national forests and other designations. It is shocking how much land is owned by the federal government.

President Trump should go to the other states — like California, Arizona, Wyoming and Alaska — and slash the size of the parks and other federally held areas there.

Bob Gregg, Glendale

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To the editor: The Los Angeles Times omitted an important fact in its article about the Trump administration's decision to shrink several monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in particular.

During the public comment period, which was initially shortened to only 15 days, more than 99% of comments were in support of the monuments. That's right: Nearly everyone who took the time to comment said they wanted the monuments left as they were.

Don't we live in a democracy? What is the point of gathering public comments if you ignore them? The arrogance of this administration apparently knows no bounds.

Crista V. Worthy, Hidden Springs, Idaho

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