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Voice: Environmentalists need to know desert has much to offer many

May 17, 2002

Helena Quintana writes in her letter of May 12, "Do we have to destroy the dunes to enjoy them?"

The answer is, of course not. She would have you to believe that a slide show presentation is the only way to enjoy the desert. If she and her party have their way, it WOULD be the only way! I suppose if you do not know anything about the desert, really do not want to travel that far and do not own a vehicle that is capable of off-road travel, I suppose her idea might work for some.

I can't enjoy my campfire in a slide show; somehow the sunrise and sunset would just not be the same through slides. Have you ever heard the howling of a coyote on tape? I would ask her one question: Where did you get the pictures? Why is it your slide show will be in San Diego?

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For over 20 years plus, the northern corridor (north from Glamis, Highway 78 to approximately Mammoth Wash) has been closed to all vehicle traffic.

Helena, you have this area to enjoy whenever and with whomever you please; no one will bother you or your friends. Why is it that you want more? Gee, I have never seen anyone enjoying this area; have you, Helena, ever been there? The next time I am out there, Helena, I will try to get you some pictures; can I borrow your telephoto lens, as the dunes are pretty far away from the road in some spots?

The dunes will survive with proper use and management!; some changes are inevitable! But how can you pass judgment on something you have probably never experienced? My family has enjoyed this area and the surrounding desert for over 50 years!

Have you, Helena and your friends, ever come out to the dunes and just stopped to pick up trash some other person left behind? My family and I have! Maybe if you were to come out sometime you too could experience the dunes and the desert. It really looks wonderful and has a lot to offer to anyone who wants to learn firsthand and in person!

JIM JOHNSON JR.

Riverside

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