Predators such as coyotes are a necessary part of our wildlands environment. Cattle are not. Ironically, if the government would just give the coyotes a chance, they would self-regulate their numbers on their own. But because so many are killed by the government every year, coyotes desperately try to repopulate each spring, and are again shot in huge numbers. The government knows this, but as one Bureau of Land Management employee told me, they cannot stop--the ranchers would not stand for it.
We need to end this control ranchers have over our lands. They are not educated biologists or wildlife experts, much as they like to believe they are. The days of cattle ranching need to end.
As someone who lives in rural Nevada, I have watched our wild horses being rounded up after having been portrayed by the government as "overpopulated" on our public lands. The only thing our public lands are overpopulated with is privately owned cattle.
Our rangelands belong to the American people and our wild animals. It is time to get the ranchers and their cattle off our public-owned lands.
Nylene W. Schoellhorn
These motorized bicycles are certainly better than cars in other ways. They use much less gasoline than autos (think national security), utilize fewer natural resources to build and, perhaps most importantly, offer people of modest incomes freedom of mobility.
So, in reality, motorized bicycles are a "mixed bag" from a green perspective.
I've never seen anyone actually pedal one of these "bikes"; they are always motoring. They can be dangerous due to speed. A friend of mine was recently killed in Tucson on one of these motorbikes.
Get truly hip, Spooky Tooth, and ditch the cheap, dirty engines. I'll keep riding my real bike, which provides exercise on the flat streets of Tucson, and burns no global-warming, polluting oil. Real cyclists don't need motors.
Daniel R. Patterson
Tucson Planning Commissioner
I'm always impressed when I return from highway travel where most trucks and buses have cleaned up their visible emissions and re-enter Tucson, where vehicles from city and school buses, trucks of prestigious companies, leaf flowers, lawnmowers and contract vehicles (of institutions including universities; city, county and state governments, etc., all of which could forbid emissions violations by contract) are belching it out as if we're in a Third World country.
By the way, our descent to that status is at least as imminent as "civil war" in Iraq, for this bankrupt nation is a pawn to oil sheiks and foreign CEOs far smarter than Ken Lay, though our great-grandchildren are supposed to reverse it all. Supposedly, unlike my neighbors, they will be driving clean cars on fabulous spaghetti-style expressways over, under and around us rather than returning to the safe and nonpolluting city and urban streetcars of my childhood, a system requiring investment to re-create, but far cheaper in the long run. Only the morning reports of vehicle carnage would be missed.
President, Galen Institute
Writer David Devine and photographer Jason Swift did an exemplary job of addressing what can and needs to be done. Also, bringing in comments from a number of builders who are involved in helping to meet the city's objectives brought vital insight to the story.
The Tucson Weekly is known for telling it as it is. This, with your extensive readership, allows the public to get necessary information for their decision-making process. Please convey my thanks to Devine and Swift for a job well done. If I can be of any future assistance, you have but to ask.
John Wesley Miller
Buffelgrass provides the essential high rainwater infiltration to prevent massive floods as evidenced in 1983. It also provides for the deep infiltration necessary to sustain mesquite and other deep-rooted trees during drought. Native grasses will not grow because their habitat has been destroyed, so topsoil must be built up before natives can be established. Buffelgrass requires more than our normal rainfall to survive and is totally dependent upon additional runoff water as seen along the roadsides. Ripping out, chemical kill, grazing or other methods used to destroy buffelgrass will leave an ecological wasteland, including groundwater pollution.
Apparently a biased group of grass-haters were interviewed resulting in so-called facts that have little or no truth. Their knowledge of soils and hydrology is considerably limited. There is one green-oriented scientist, Dr. Robert M. Dixon, among others, whose life-long dedication to research in soil physics and plant physiology led to different conclusions about buffelgrass. Unfortunately, he was not consulted.