Plan to save forests wouldn't safeguard country's...


May 19, 2000

Plan to save forests wouldn't safeguard country's wilderness

I was glad to see The Sun's coverage of the U.S. Forest Service's draft proposal for protecting pristine wilderness areas ("Proposal would ban road-building in vast areas of forest," May 10).

However, I am disappointed that the draft plan does not reflect the forest protection vision articulated by President Clinton and embraced by the public.

While the draft plan would prohibit road building in wilderness areas, it leaves millions of acres of forest wilderness vulnerable to logging and other destructive activities that are not dependent on roads. Timber companies are very good at logging in roadless areas, using helicopters and other creative methods.

Another loophole in the plan is the possible exemption of Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Leaving the Tongass out of a final wild forest protection plan would be like leaving the Grand Canyon out of the National Park System.

The Forest Service is accepting public comments until July 17 on the plan. It is up to the American people to let them know that this plan does not reflect its wants.

It's not too late for the Forest Service to reverse course and issue a plan that protects pristine wilderness areas in all national forests from all destructive activities, including logging and road building.

Kim DeFeo, Baltimore

The writer directs the Save Our Wild Forests campaign for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

North Baltimore forest faces threat from college

A quiet assault on the environment is happening in Baltimore and many voices are either silenced or complicit in this crime against nature.

The sensitive forest of Woodberry near TV Hill is threatened by Loyola College, which wants to turn 51 acres of green into asphalt for cheering sports enthusiasts and alumni donors with hundreds of cars ("New playlands give Loyola athletics room to grow," April 23).

Environmental activists should fight to preserve this land.

If a private institution is land-locked, that is its problem, and its problem alone.

No community should bow down to an institution because of its power, prestige and money.

Let's preserve public land, rather than give it to self-serving private institutions. Myles Hoenig, Baltimore

Weapons Los Alamos built could cause real conflagration

The Los Alamos fire should remind us, as the mostly neglected review of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review proceeds, that just a tiny fraction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal could make the Los Alamos fire look like a candle -- and there would be nowhere to go and no one to help ("Los Alamos emptied as fire nears," May 10).

We think nuclear weapons are "controlled" and safe -- like the "controlled" burn that got away from the experts in New Mexico.

It is time to take she removing of nuclear weapons for alert, and their elimination, seriously.

Arthur Milholland, Silver Spring

The writer is a member of the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Can triggers possess `New York style'

Let's face it: Here in Baltimore, we have a bad case of New York envy. In baseball, the Yankees trounce our Orioles' division; New York nightlife is constantly pointed to in the current debate over after-hours clubs in Baltimore and now we have a police chief from New York.

While I can take all of that with a grain of salt, I am finding the latest case of envy too surrealistic to go without comment. This is the current debate over whether or not our police will get "New York style" triggers on their guns ("Police poised to replace 9 mm guns with powerful, `safer' .40 caliber weapons," May 11).

I'm not objecting to the police receiving these triggers, but certainly we have to step back and ponder the insanity of a world where a gun trigger gets personified as "New York style."

Lonnie Fisher, Baltimore

Church's closing is blow to city's artistic heritage

While attending the recent closing services at St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church, I was struck by the artistry in the murals that adorn its walls.

When this building falls to the wrecker's ball, the art heritage of Baltimore will once again be dealt a punishing blow.

Robert E. Ulanowicz, Port Republic

Gov. Bush will restore dignity to the Oval Office

Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore have similar agendas on such issues as Social Security solvency, Medicare, education and crime.

But Mr. Bush will restore dignity, honor and respect to the presidency, traits sorely lacking during Bill Clinton's seven-year tenure.

Bill Arwady, Towson

Union contracts help women overcome bias

In many fields our culture still does not compensate women as well as men.

As the column by Bonnie Lipton showed, professional women athletes don't receive the same compensation as their male counterparts. Only by joining together did the U.S. women soccer players get what they wanted and deserved ("Equal work should mean equal pay," OpinionCommentary, May 9).

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