I am a third-generation Western Republican troubled by recent letters accusing HCN writers of "divisive rhetoric" and a "socialist or even communistic view" (HCN, 12/23/02). I had hoped that the incoming Bush administration would have the courage and leadership to promote economic growth and ecological sustainability. Instead, the administration launched an aggressive campaign to weaken, circumvent or abolish many important environmental and public lands protections. This anti-environment bias permeates all policy decisions. Unfortunately, the Administration is very adept at achieving their goals quietly through rule changes and administrative actions that do not require legislative approval or public input. I would urge conservative Republicans to put aside Limbaugh-style rhetoric and malice toward environmentalists and honestly evaluate the long-term consequences of administration policies on the West that we will pass on to future generations.
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