Re "Scope of Logging in Sequoia Monument Plan Angers Critics," Jan. 28: The caption under the photo of President Bush states that he "marveled" at the large trees. Funny choice of words. I don't see a marveling expression on his face.
I do see a calculating expression. Considering Bush and his administration's current views on environmental policy, I can just imagine him thinking, "Gee, I wonder how many houses we could build from one of these big trees. Better yet, I wonder what our current prices of lumber are to Asia." Of course, the park ranger standing next to him is saying: "Please, President Bush, don't privatize my job and put me out of work. I've got a family. I pay taxes too. Don't I count?"
The logging industry is now allowed into our national monuments -- what is going to happen next? The giant sequoias are one of the most beautiful sights in California, and the Forest Service is planning to extract timber at a rate of 3,000 logging trucks per year. Our treasured public lands are being used for the profit of the timber industry in the name of fire protection. California must protect its wild heritage from such destructive practices in forestry, mining and development.
California is known around the world for its beauty -- wild places like the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Yosemite, Big Sur and the Owens River headwaters draw millions of visitors from around the world every year. To ensure that places like these are permanently protected, we need to designate them as wilderness through the California Wild Heritage Act.
In wilderness, land managers can still use fire as a tool to restore fire-dependent ecosystems. They can suppress fires in wilderness without sacrificing the integrity of these places. Help protect California's beauty.
California Wild Heritage
Campaign, Los Angeles