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Utah citizens back wilderness protectionGiven The Sun's...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Utah citizens back wilderness protection

Given The Sun's admirable editorial record in support of environmental protection and wild land preservation, it was unfortunate to see you ("Clinton's monumental decision," Sept. 20.) fall for some of the bogus arguments opponents used to criticize President Clinton's decision to create the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah's incomparable redrock region.

You appear to agree with the contention that "locking away 62 billion tons of low-sulfur coal, preferred by power plants as less polluting, may be a greater loss to the environment." Even your acknowledgment that the president "offered to swap for coal mining rights on nearby federal lands" misses the point. The fact is none of this coal would have been used in the United States anyway. The foreign-owned mining company that sought to dig up the coal in the now-protected area planned to truck it out of Utah on new roads that would have cost taxpayers $100 million in subsidies, then ship it to Japan, Taiwan and other Asian markets -- at the cost of the permanent environmental destruction of Utah's valuable wild lands.

Although many of the politicians and officials in "decidedly Republican, small population" Utah indeed may have voiced "vigorous opposition" to President Clinton's action, Utah's citizens repeatedly have expressed support for preserving far more of the state's wild lands than the 1.7 million acres Mr. Clinton has protected. Over the past two years, seven public hearings were held throughout Utah and in Washington, D.C. during which a vast majority of the Utah residents testifying called for congressional passage of a citizen's proposal -- H.R. 1500 -- to designate 5.7 million acres of southern Utah's red-rock region as protected wilderness.

In addition, a 1995 survey conducted through the office of Gov. Mike Leavitt showed that more than two-thirds of Utah's residents who participated opposed the congressional delegation's proposals to open southern Utah's wild lands to mining, roads, dams and other destructive activities. What's more, opinion polls in Utah's major newspapers consistently show overwhelming support for even greater protection of the state's wild lands, a position adopted by some of state's editorial writers.

Utah's politicians, eager to curry favor with big business and special interests, may vigorously oppose President Clinton's action. Public opinion polls, petitions, letters and surveys show that most of Utah's citizens and the American people as a whole, Republicans included, approve of it.

Mike Matz

Salt Lake City, Utah

The writer is executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Conserve, preserve mean different things

Just as there are two wings of Congress (right and left) so there are two wings of the environmentalist movement -- conservation (wise use of resources) and preservation (protect it from citizens). Writers do not seem to know that, particularly in three articles in the Sept. 20 edition of The Sun.

1. The "Antietam" articles by Peter Jensen, in the main, gets it right -- they are preservationists.

2. "Warming seen as peril to bay birds" by Frank Roylance wrongly designates the World Wildlife Fund in both heading and body of the article.

3. "Clinton's monumental decision" editorial, in the headline, completely confuses preservation and conservation. In the body, "Green" ("green votes") is used for "preservation" nomenclature and that is correct.

We cannot say "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean." That won't wash with today's more knowledgeable reader.

Margaret Resh Tinkler

Reisterstown

Rap implicated in Shakur's death

Gregory Kane (Sept. 18, "Shakur's fatalism echoes in a generation's despair") once again comes to the defense of gangsta rappers lamenting the loss of self-proclaimed thug Tupac Shakur.

I don't believe that anyone deserves to be gunned down (even if caused by his or her own imprudent behavior). However, to condone words exploring youthful death and suicide as a way of life in the 'hood is ludicrous.

Sure, vulgar lyrics have existed and been disputed for years. The most significant difference is that gangsta rap (promoted largely by Caucasian-operated companies solely worried about the bottom line) preys on a portion of our youth that is having an arduous time securing the basic necessities of life -- employment, shelter, education and safety.

We can accept gangsta rap as simply another genre of music, or we can examine the fate of performers such as Shakur and countless others and realize that tuning them out has bigger implications.

Sharon Perry

Lochearn

Netanyahu wants enduring peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace, but not piece by piece.

He wants a lasting peace, a permanent peace. In 1938 Sir Neville Chamberlain assured us of "peace in our time." That is not the kind of peace Mr. Netanyahu wants.

Philip Myers

St. Margarets

Pub Date: 10/03/96

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