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Know the West

Keep it legal


While I am all for keeping roads out of our national forests to the extent practicable, I found former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck's view of the process disturbing (HCN, 11/9/09). Mr. Dombeck says in your story "Roadless-less" that "(t)he bottom line is that the mechanism of how we keep wild places wild is less important than doing it." Another way of saying that is "the end justifies the means." It is that kind of thinking that leads to torture, warrantless wiretaps, etc. The way to protect wild places is within the bounds of the law, whether that be NEPA, the Wilderness Act, or new legislation. Playing fast and loose is never the right answer.

Richard Thelin
Fallbrook, California