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Save Eastern Sierra

Posted: February 18, 2008 3:35 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2008 5:02 a.m.
To The Editor:

I would like to second the opinions expressed by Bill Bailey and Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel in their recent commentaries on the importance of wilderness protection in Southern California.

As a Southern California native, I have always enjoyed the beautiful views and the bountiful hiking opportunities that the Eastern Sierra Mountains and our local proposed wilderness areas provide.

I think that Mr. Bailey makes a critically important point, however, when he mentions the financial benefits of preserving undeveloped wild lands.

A 2004 study conducted by the Sonoran Institute found a remarkable correlation between the presence and protection of wild public lands and rising property values and personal revenue. By bringing in vital tourist dollars and encouraging new settlers and second home buyers, these lands contribute -- as Mr. Bailey observes -- to both our quality of life and our local economy.

I applaud Rep. McKeon and Sen. Boxer on their hard work so far, and I urge them to continue the fight to reintroduce and expand the proposed Eastern Sierra legislation.

For if we don't act today, these lands will be gone, and when they are gone, they will be gone forever.


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