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Our Opinion: Dunes input?

September 08, 2001

We are glad so many people have participated in the meetings the U.S. Bureau of Land Management conducted regarding the future of the sand dunes in Imperial County. It shows people still believe in discussion and the democratic process.

We just wonder how much good it is going to do.

In the past it seems BLM decision-makers have paid attention to only a select few, most notably lawsuit-happy environmental groups. It was such folks who forced the closure of a large section of our county's sand dunes in the last year. The result has been more dunes enthusiasts in a smaller area, meaning more danger to those people enjoying the area on their vehicles.

BLM officials can schedule hearing after hearing, but if they don't give people's opinions serious consideration, everyone involved is wasting their time. We haven't seen much serious consideration of all ideas in the past. We have seen BLM officials do what they think is best for the environment and us, no matter what the public wants or says.

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We certainly think BLM officials believe they are doing the right thing for the world around us. For that they should be applauded. Their cause is a noble one. We also don't like when people who use the word "environmentalist" as if it is an expletive. God only knows the condition our world would be in if it weren't for such lovers of the world around us.

We also don't like it when people talk about all the environmentalist hubbub to save one "weed." That kind of thought could lead to people complaining next about saving one last insect, one last bird, one last bighorn sheep or one last mountain lion.

Every living thing has value in our ecosystem. Only a dullard, and an angry one at that, would think otherwise.

Still, the BLM and environmentalists must be realistic. Thousands upon thousands of people love to play in the dunes. They are going to go out their and do their thing no matter the restrictions put on them. Their adventures in the sand help support our economy here in Imperial County and in other counties in the Southwest, particularly our friends in Yuma.

If that whole world is torn asunder by BLM rulings, people are going to get angry.

BLM folks should start listening before that happens … again.

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