Letters to the editor for Aug. 13, 2013

Written by Union Democrat staff August 13, 2013 03:00 pm

Why have an Endangered Species Act if you don’t protect them?

To the Editor:

Recent response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service proposal (see “Hoppin’ mad”) to protect the habitat of endangered species seems to beg the answer to the question, “Why have an Endangered Species Act?” Frogs, birds, fish, and deer are indicators of a healthy environment. Fouled lakes, streams, and meadows are not healthy environments for wildlife or for humans. Ever hear of the canary in the mineshaft? 

Congressman McClintock often resorts to meaningless labeling—“leftist,” “left-leaning”—while Congressman Nunes relies on hysterical scare tactics when addressing this issue: “This is just the beginning before they come and take your jobs away.” 

County Supervisor Hanvelt “[worries] about the hit to the local economy from the loss of tourism should limits be placed on recreational opportunities that attract many to the county.” Access and use within the Stanislaus National Forest includes the following: roads, trails, campgrounds, dispersed (free) campsites, day use, ski resorts, cabins (rental and private), boat ramps and rentals, pack stations, cattle grazing, target shooting, hunting — whew!

With all this access, some still must drive into meadows, turning them into mud-bogs; target shoot, leaving bottles, cans, and shell casings behind; and transform lake shores into garbage dumps.

The welcoming Forest Service sign reads “Land of Many Uses.” Who speaks for the abuses? The Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC).

CSERC is a local group that elevates the discussion regarding land use beyond labeling and hysteria. CSERC staff and volunteers also work with land management agencies to restore and protect meadows from abuses, remove garbage and invasive weeds, and engage in many other labor-intensive restoration/protection/ monitoring projects. 

Check out the CSERC website at www.CSERC.org. You will see good people doing important work. Help them accomplish their mission of taking care of your public lands.

David Stough

Sonora