Preserving Wilderness

To the Editor:

During last week’s budget battle, the House of Representatives tried to undermine the law that saved the Grand Canyon, and Olympic and Acadia national parks (“Recommended Reading for Republicans,” editorial, Feb. 21). These natural treasures were saved by the Antiquities Act, a law used by 15 presidents since Teddy Roosevelt that has served this country well and should be kept.

At a time when Congress is determined not to cheat our grandchildren by burdening them with a huge national debt, why is it permissible to allow irreversible damage to the forests, mountains and streams that they will inherit? The American people have a different vision.

Over the last year citizens turned out in great numbers at public hearings to tell the federal government that we want to protect our natural heritage for future generations. Recommendations in the resulting America’s Great Outdoors report, released last week, reflect the same vision that has enabled us to preserve landmarks like the Statue of Liberty through the Antiquities Act, as well as popular county parks and trails through other initiatives.

Yes, we need to reduce spending, but let’s do it wisely.