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Know the West

Good riddance to land-use rules

  The essay by Rebecca Clarren on Measure 37 strikes a particular chord with me, because I am an offspring of one of those rural Oregonians that have sacrificed a lot to allow those fine "enlightened" city folk from the Willamette Valley to experience the beauty and serenity of Oregon’s unspoiled countryside (HCN, 9/22/04: In Oregon, a lesson learned the hard way). I take exception to the claim by planning advocates that Oregonians didn’t know what they were voting for on Measure 37. They darn well do know what they are voting for. When an unbending rule of law is laid upon the land by those who have no vested interest in its effects (most of the people in favor of strict land-use laws own no more than a few hundred square feet of it, if any at all), you will certainly get an extreme backlash.

I agree with Clarren that planners and environmentalists did not listen to those people who were bearing the weight of their wonderful utopian view of how everyone else should live and view the world. My definition of an environmentalist is one who thinks the world should revolve around them, much as the monarchs of the past who looked over the serfs, scratching out a living, in search of the "perfect" world.

I am really glad Oregon’s land-use system has come to this extreme end, and I hope that those who become so passionate about the environment realize there are other people in the world besides themselves.

Douglas D. Sparks
Dolores, Colorado