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Monarch Butterflies

I refer to your editorial “Monarchs: Handle With Care” (Feb. 26), on the protection of the Monarch butterflies. The executive summary of the plan for the proposed development to Santa Barbara Shores calls for massive grading very close to the eucalyptus groves where the Monarchs cluster. This grading would eliminate the opening to an extremely vital creek, the topography of which is important to maintaining the level of humidity in the habitat.

The plan also includes a water treatment facility which emits hydrogen sulfide gas 24 hours a day in an open area where the butterflies gather before continuing their migration to the Sierra feeding grounds.

It is insufficient to protect only the trees where the butterflies actually cluster. The climatic conditions and the open air passages leading to the grove must be protected as well.

The most encouraging statement in the editorial is the awareness that a two- to three-year study is needed to determine how much protection is required to save the habitat.

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JANE MARSHALL

Los Angeles


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