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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

It's a wilderness, not a mall

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Regarding wilderness designations, there is no guarantee that just because a place exists all humans have to be allowed in, nor given special access to all parts of all places (HCN, 6/23/08). I speak as a physically challenged person who cannot go down the Grand Canyon or hike the Appalachian Trail, and I do not begrudge my more physically able compatriots their ability to partake of these experiences -- they will never be able to have what I do experience in my other-abled way. In general, we need to get past this belief that the world must be a level playing field for all, because it isn't, and no human intervention will make it so -- nor should it. The glory of existence is in our individual and varied lives. By the way, if you really want someone to experience wilderness, you can make it so on a one-to-one basis, but that requires imagination, commitment, and collaboration between individuals rather than expecting the rest of society to solve a theoretical problem.
As far as the Nevada wilderness, the issue is the imposition of legislation without local participation, not whether or not the Nevada high desert is worthy of wilderness designation or whether Nevadans appreciate wilderness. The high desert has a hard stark beauty that is unique and much appreciated by those who live there, and we have no difficulty sharing it with others who might also appreciate it. Welcome to the high desert -- bring your own water.

Brenda B. Harding
Sparks, Nevada

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