To the Editor:

 Regarding “Aldrich Mountains eyed for Special Management Area” in the Dec. 22 Eagle: Expressing suspicion of a group that professes the protection of time-honored resources such as the native wildlife, fish, and historical habitat for future generations could seem somewhat like being in support of drunk driving.

 However, I suspect that this group could have similar negative impacts, more in line with the suppression of those historical uses of our lands, both public and private. They cite threats such as gas and oil development. But is the harvesting of resources for the economic benefit of our mostly unemployed citizens, our local governments, our schools and roads a threat? Does this assault upon this threat include the acquisition of mineral rights entitled by deed to private holders?

  The story says this Special Management Area is to be managed by a collaborative group. I suspect such group to be a roster of the same individuals who have been such a negative force that it has crippled grazing, mining, timber, and what else, in the name of protecting our precious environment.

 Is there a public record of the members of this group? Is there a process in which interested citizens can become a party to this group? Are there public meeting records of their deliberations?

 I would like to see a deeper inspection of the motives and goals of this narrowly focused group before our local citizens and governments offer their support. We have already witnessed the impacts of litigation and legislation that have crippled our local individuals and communities and taken away our private property and individual rights to use our lands for recreation and business. Do we really want more of this?

Mary MacArthur


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