Save the American West [Blowback]

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Save the American West [Blowback]

Post by edfrank » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:47 pm

Save the American West [Blowback]
March 14, 2012 | 1:24 pm ... wback.html

Opinion L.A.
Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

Save the American West [Blowback]
March 14, 2012 | 1:24 pm

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Matt Kirby takes on Robert H. Nelson's recent Op-Ed, "Free the American West." Kirby works on public lands policy for the Sierra Club and is an avid outdoorsman. If you would like to write a full-length response to a recent Times article, editorial or Op-Ed and would like to participate in Blowback, here are our FAQs and submission policy.
The recent opinion article decrying public lands, "Free the American West," by Robert H. Nelson, is out of touch with the current Western economy. Much has changed since Nelson's days at the Department of Interior in the 1970s.

In the last 40 years, the fastest growth in the West has occurred in areas that are directly adjacent to protected public lands. Safeguarding and highlighting the quality of life offered by these special pieces of America's natural heritage draw new residents, tourists and businesses. Together the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service see an average of 591 million visitors every year -- visitors who stimulate local economies and support jobs. Visitors aren't coming to see mines, oil and gas wells, and clear-cut forests, the activities for which Nelson says these lands should be "freed up." They're traveling to hunt, to fish, to hike, to camp, and for a hundred other sustainable activities that require protected public lands. Outdoor recreation generates $730 billion for the U.S. economy each year and supports almost 6.5 million jobs. continued....
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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