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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Amazon deliveries and Wi-Fi in national parks? No, thanks

Traffic backs up along a road on the Yosemite Valley floor in July 2017.
Traffic backs up along a road on the Yosemite Valley floor in July 2017.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As an urban Californian, I, along with my family and friends, have used national parks and forests to escape the sometimes overwhelming mass of humanity and “creature comforts” of city life. We have hiked, bicycled, boated and camped in virtually every section of the Sierras, the Cascades, the Sawtooths and other pristine regions of the country.

The very thought of further commercializing these areas, as a proposal being considered by the Trump administration would do, fills me with sadness and disgust. I visit those beautiful regions to escape from things like Amazon deliveries, food trucks and social media.

If you feel as do I, please make yourselves heard loud and clear. Our representatives respond only to intense public pressure.

Elliott Mercer, Newport Beach

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To the editor: The L.A. Times’ editorial improperly includes boating on the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir with a multitude of other proposed changes in national park management.

When San Francisco pleaded with Congress for permission to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley a century ago, it promised repeatedly that the area would be managed for “water supply and park purposes.” After building the dam, however, San Francisco reneged on its commitment and has largely excluded the public.

The “boating” proposal comes from Restore Hetch Hetchy, a not-for-profit environmental group. A ferry, quietly powered by clean electricity, would provide needed access to hikers, picnickers, fisherman, rock climbers and anyone who wants to visit that part of Yosemite.

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Until Hetch Hetchy Reservoir can be relocated and the valley restored, visitors should be able explore its spectacular canyon.

Spreck Rosekrans, Berkeley

The writer is executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy.

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To the editor: A few years ago I backpacked with my son and his friends deep into the eastern Sierra Nevada. Unfortunately we forgot tortillas, a key ingredient to go with the fish we caught.

One night, staring at stars against a black sky, I wondered how long it might be until Amazon-powered drones could deliver the tortillas we forgot, even up here at 10,000 feet above sea level, where there wasn’t a trace of internet access. Then I looked at my teenage son and his friends also staring at the stars and whatever else, with not a screen in sight.

Bringing more people to the outdoors should not be at the expense of what draws us there in the first place. If people want to stare at screens and eat at food trucks, then why go to a national park?

Wayne Hart, Long Beach

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To the editor: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said that allowing electric bicycles on certain trails in national parks and national wildlife refuges “will create opportunities to explore areas of the great outdoors that were previously unreachable.”

“Unreachable” is fine the way it is.

Does he really believe that a pristine area will remain so once humans discover a new place to trash? He must have been asleep during the Joshua Tree National Park fiasco.

Jeff Dye, La Verne


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