Ranchers not necessarily the enemy

  Dear HCN,

As a Sierra Club member and former resident of New Mexico, I was very impressed with the "zero cow" initiative article, for it highlights the complexity of how to both use and protect public lands (HCN, 2/26/01: 'Zero-Cow' initiative splits Sierra Club). In the past, when the proverbial pendulum supported loggers, miners, ranchers and market hunters, our public lands suffered greatly. Now we are in danger of the pendulum swinging too far the other way.

We as a concerned community need to focus. The "enemy" is not the logger, commercial fisherman, miner or developer. The enemy is environmental destruction and exploitation. If we are to succeed in protecting our environment for future generations, we need to all work and come together to ensure that the goal of sustainable development and land use/extraction is met. Wisely used, resources will last forever.

David M. Nelson
Post Falls, Idaho
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