Not so uncommon

  In regards to your recent "Uncommon Westerners" article, I find little uncommon about Mike Noel, Utah state representative, other than that his favorite food is sushi (HCN, 5/28/07). Mike exemplifies many Westerners that are gung ho on keeping all public lands open to off-road vehicles, mining, logging and ranching.

He also shows that a lot of folks confuse myths with facts. Mike comments that "if everything is wilderness, if everything is locked up, you can't even hardly go down into a wilderness area with a Scout troop." I just saw two different Scout groups in a wilderness area while I was out for a hike, so this is a false statement, unless of course the Scout troop wants to take a Hummer or tank into the area. The term "locking up" in regards to designated wilderness is ridiculous. It is open to hunting, hiking, fishing and horseback riding, and even grazing is allowed to continue if already present.

Sure, Mike can't drive his jeep into wilderness areas, but with only about 5 percent of the land in America designated as wilderness, he has plenty of options. Let's keep a slice of the pie for folks who want some solitude, home for wildlife, and for our future generations to come.

Nick Dobric
Las Vegas, Nevada