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Letter to the Editor: Bush policy hurts public lands

Saturday, February 19, 2005

To the editor:

For many Americans, summer vacation does not mean a trip overseas. It means a visit to one or more of our publicly owned lands, most often our beautiful national parks. But often it includes visits to our wildlife refuges, national forests or wilderness areas. These lands are managed by our government, which acts on behalf of the American people. They should practice wise stewardship management that will pass these lands to future generations in as good or better condition than we received them. All major religions demand that humans manage lands wisely to sustain not only those alive now, but also generations as yet unborn.

The demand for stewardship of our public lands does not permit the destruction of those lands for short-term economic profit to benefit a few executives in large U.S. resource-extraction corporations. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has consistently adopted policies toward our public lands that undermine wise stewardship. Rather than providing our national parks with sufficient funds to allow wise management, the White House has not only underfunded the National Parks Service, but has also promoted the plunder of our parks for corporate profit. The Bush "No tree left behind" policy threatens national forests while oil drilling threatens the destruction of our wildlife refuges.

The Bush plan to rape the refuges and plunder the parks in the name of corporate profit, a policy that rejects public values and the Christian requirement for stewardship, will continue unless Americans and Congress reject it.

JUDY CURETON, Cape Girardeau