Keep certain wildlands secret, unharmed

To the Editor:

Many of us have experienced the heartbreak of returning to a special place in nature only to find that it has been overrun. As a public servant charged with restoring and protecting National Forest Lands I found myself occasionally at odds with usually well-intentioned journalists, writers and outdoor recreation business people who sought to share the location of special and still little known places in nature.

We all own and share the public lands commons and we share a desire to see them managed in ways that preserve their natural beauty and the ability of the greatest number to use, benefit from and enjoy them without diminishing their natural qualities. Many places in the public land base are developed such that they can accommodate large numbers of visitors at one time.

These places have been developed with parking, stable trails, restroom facilities and other improvements as needed so that they have a high carrying capacity. Carrying capacity is the maximum number of people that can be present at one time without causing resource damage or reducing the quality of the recreation experience.

These are the places that should be focused on by writers, journalists and outdoor recreation businesses. Unfortunately, too many with a desire to derive profit are tempted to reveal the locations of unimproved and still relatively wild and little known places in nature. When these places are spotlighted they can be damaged by excessive use.

Let’s promote only the places that can handle high use and strive to let folks discover wild places on their own. And no outdoor writer should ever fail to include language which inspires outdoor recreationists to take pride in practicing Leave No Trace ethics.

Bob Wetzel

Murphys

Kangaroo bias

To the Editor:

I’ve known murderers of people and children get out of prison within seven years. How come Paul Manafort is facing 350? From a charge from 10 years ago. Is it because he worked for Trump for three months?

We all know what it is. The corruption of our legal system, the Trump haters, the 15 Democrats on his team who donated to Hillary’s campaign, they lost and are still trying to do anything in their kangaroo biased way to discredit him. Wait a few minutes, they’ll conjure up something else, how ridiculous.

Michael Wood

Sonora

Bipartisanship is gone

To the Editor:

A couple of things John McCain did, and said, reminded me of a different time in the history of the our national politics. The first took place when he was running for president in 2008, and while speaking at a rally, a member of the crowd said some nasty things about his opponent, Barack Obama. McCain answered her by stating that Obama was a good man and she was out of line in her remarks.

The second instance was when he went against his party and delivered the vote that defeated the attempt by his party to defeat Obama Care.

These are remarkable actions because they took place in the present state of distinct polarization in our national politics. There is no room for compromise — you are either for me or against me with no “in between.”

Senator McCain’s actions reminded me of the ’50s when the Senate was by led by two men — The Republicans were led by Senator Everett Dirksen, and the Democrats were led by Senator Lyndon Johnson, and since the Democrats were the majority party he led the Senate, and Dirksen led the minority party.

The two of them, while often in opposition, exhibited a tone of bipartisanship that led to a time of progress in many ways. Sadly, such bipartisanship does not exist today, and one wonders if it will ever be revived. One can only hope, for the sake of our country, that it will.

Mahlon Conly

Twain Harte

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