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Voice: Duncan Hunter not truthful about her wilderness bill, Boxer says

May 14, 2002

You recently reported that a representative of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter opened a hearing on the management plan for the Imperial Sand Dunes by claiming that I plan to "chain off an unprecedented portion of our state to all but the most vigorous hikers." Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wilderness bill that I plan to introduce does not include any portions of the Imperial Sand Dunes or any other area within Imperial County. My staff has consulted with Rep. Hunter's staff regarding the bill and have notified the staff that no Imperial County portions are included.

My wilderness bill is a moderate approach to preserve current wild, roadless areas in California. In fact, my bill proposes less than half the acreage of the Desert Protection Act, the last major wilderness bill in California. It has received the support of hundreds of elected officials and organizations throughout the state of California because they believe that this bill will preserve wild areas for future generations and provide economic benefits for local communities.

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I am introducing my wilderness bill at the urging of thousands of residents of California who enjoy wild places and want them to remain in their natural state. These areas will still be open for a wide range of recreation, including hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.

BARBARA BOXER

United States senator

Washington, D.C.

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