Presidents' Day is here and with increased law enforcement the volume goes up denouncing environmentalists for destroying the local economy by limiting access to public lands.
I'd like to offer that a local economy depending on recreational activities of any kind that foul the air, poison the water and disproportionately siphon hospital and law enforcement services needs serious study, not finger- pointing designed to raise our blood pressure rather than ignite our reasoning minds.
Federal air and water quality standards and the Endangered Species Act were passed to provide a better quality of life for all citizens. Quality-of-life considerations include a sustainable economy, social equity and a healthy environment.
Cashed-strapped Imperial County has the highest asthma rate in the country and a seriously contaminated water supply. There are reasons for these conditions besides OHV activities like agricultural practices, mining extraction and roads and even the anticipated affects of the recently approved natural gas pipeline — all inputs need to be evaluated for their cumulative regional impact over time.