Letter to the Editor

Wilderness deserves protection

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To the editor:Kudos to Canada. Our neighbors to the north are making huge strides in the preservation of beautiful natural places. The Canadian government is moving to protect two huge pieces of land from industrial development and preserve these ecological and cultural wonders for the enjoyment of future generations. The boreal forest and tundra being set aside from future plunder by land developers are about half the size of Missouri and more than 300 times Missouri's currently designated wilderness areas.

We currently have the opportunity to hang an "off limits" sign on 49,323 acres of Missouri's wilderness. Although both Missouri senators have expressed some interest in this proposal, it currently lacks the support of a Missouri lawmaker, making its hopes of advancing through Congress (and protecting the proposed places) nonexistent. The main obstacle thwarting the designation and protection of seven of Missouri's natural places is the congressional representative from the 8th District, Jo Ann Emerson.

Emerson stated that she would fight federally designated wilderness in her district "with every last breath of my body." Emerson touts the absurd notion that designating these areas as wilderness will hamper efforts to prevent forest fires and control pesky insects. Perhaps Emerson should follow Canada's example and fight for the protection of our natural places rather than stubbornly standing in the way of environmental progress.

Emerson seems to think insects and fire pose a greater threat to our natural resources than profiteering mining and logging corporations. She is sadly mistaken.

ADAM GOHN, Cape Girardeau