I didnt appreciate your September/October 2003 cover line "Should Parks Be Run Like Your HMO?" Some of your members actually work for HMOs and take pride in helping provide well-managed, affordable healthcare. Mark Kritzman
West Hartford, Connecticut
"Should Parks Be Run Like the DMV?" That cover line would have been equally unbiased. I agree with Professor Savas in the article, who said, "The point is not public versus private but monopoly versus competition." Larry Lang
Los Altos, California
PARKS FOR PROFIT
Letters poured in about Kerry Tremains September/October 2003 "Pink Slips in the Parks," which exposed President Bushs efforts to privatize jobs in the National Park Service. "I fear for the generations who would inherit parks for profit. Fight hard on this one," wrote one interpretive ranger. Said another government employee, "Whatever the outcome, the agency has already lost because our workforce is demoralized and devalued." Many insiders asked us not to publish their names. "The order not to discuss [the parks budget situation] came from very high up," said one, "and some people have already lost their jobs for talking."
Thank you for taking on the Bush administrations latest mischief, privatizing the National Park Service. This idea has already resulted in handing over interpretation (nature and history walks, teaching, book stores, and so on) to cadres of well-meaning but inept volunteers or minimum-wage slaves. To take the professional science roles and farm them out is an act of vandalism. Jordan Fisher-Smith
Nevada City, California
This issue is critical on its merits, and also because it is part of a larger strategy of the Republicans to privatize, and thus undermine, many environmental agencies. Bob Lyman
I have a concern about the beautiful photo of a mountain goat in Olympic National Park ("Pink Slips in the Parks," September/October 2003). Mountain goats did not occur naturally on the Olympic Peninsula. The first populations were brought into the region from Alaska and British Columbia in the 1920s to provide targets for hunters. But hunting in Olympic National Park was prohibited after the park was established in 1938. Over the years, the mountain goats proliferated, reaching a population of 1,200 in the 1980s. Visitors began to observe extreme damage to rare and endemic plants from goat grazing and wallowing. Your goat picture could jeopardize efforts to reduce the populations numbers by removal or transfer to mountain-goat habitat in the Cascades or elsewhere. Polly Dyer
Lost in Montana and other CORRECTIONS
On the "Last Words" page of our September/October 2003 issue, a caption stated that some heavily logged Montana hills were on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. But the picture actually showed logging on private land some 25 miles from Lolo National Forest. We sincerely regret the error. For more information and a response from the forests supervisor, go to www.sierraclub.org/sierra/lolo.
In September/Octobers "Profile," we stated that Carl Wren was Austins fire "chief," when his title is actually "supervising engineer." Steve Gibbs, whom we identified as a "firefighter," works on fire prevention.
In "Better Living Through Forestry" on page 43 of the same issue, we erroneously stated that "trees sequester carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen." We got it half right: Trees do sequester CO2 by forming sugars and eventually cellulose, but the oxygen they produce comes from water molecules.
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