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[at-l] Saddleback, the real issue

With the disclaimer that my opinion is no more valid than any of the rest
of yours (and without getting into the middle of whatever you guys have
been doing), I really see this issue quite differently than I usually hear
it discussed.

Seems to me it is not a *protection of trail* issue at all - but saving
some of that undeveloped land this country was built on for us and our
future generations.

It's shocking to me how far we have come in my (almost) half century.  When
I was the proverbial sprout, we could drive out of town, camp, and if we
saw anybody, ask permission - which was pretty much always granted.  Now,
that isn't available.  Just like I am unlikely to see many animals except
in a zoo (or sadly, stuffed in a museum), I am unlikely to be able to hike,
walk, camp, view or otherwise enjoy untrammelled countryside unless the
*government* (that's us) gets it together enough to rope some off and
protect it for us.

I did write my letter on Saddleback and not because WF (or anyone else)
told me to.  But because everytime I see a kid in a park when I am out
hiking I get a warm fuzzy - that there is a park for him to be *taken* to
where he can experience trails and hilss and creeksides and many wonderful
life forms just living, and, that somebody cared enough to take him.  I
mean, parks are pretty much the only place left where we can experience the
*nature* that I could find on undeveloped land within a mile of most of the
places I lived as a kid.

Fortunately, not all land has to be *acquired* by eminent domain.  Much has
been bought (happily to the sellers) and much has even been donated.  I was
on a trail in a donated park today - *hiking* home from work.  Thanks for
that park, too.

How many parks are too many?  We're not there yet.  When I sent in my
Saddleback letter I got a nice thank you with an explanation that they were
going for the second scenario because that would give the trail on
Saddleback the same *protection* it enjoys elsewhere.  Oh, no! my cells
screamed.  Not that!  I really hadn't seen the issue so clearly up to that
point.  If we are going to turn the trail there into another hike between
road crossings and stores - well, we haven't gained anything, have we?

The only issue left (as far as I am concerned) is *Why Maine?*  Probably
because they have one of the few viewsheds left.  And it is conveniently
wrapped around an already much appreciated, and used (and very unique)
National Park. And of basically *unused* land.  And, if we don't protect
this one where are we going to find another one of equal value to protect?
And who will we have to ask to give up their homes to protect that one?

Or, shall we ignore the fact that generations won't know the wonders of a
viewshed and just take lots of nice pictures while they last?

Rights?  I think we have priveleges.  And where my *rights* jettison the
future for many I suspect I should give them up.  Gracefully, if possible.

Ok, my $.03.  Back to your regularly scheduled program....


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