I read Mr.William Moore's letter of July 10 and felt a response was necessary. Mr. Moore stated that Vermonters don't want more wilderness - protected areas for wildlife that are off limits to commercial timber harvesting and motorized vehicles - in the Green Mountain National Forest. Well, as a Vermonter, I do support protecting more wilderness in the Green Mountain National Forest.
Vermont has only 60,000 acres of protected wilderness in a state of 6 million total acres-that's only 1 percent of Vermont. Senators Leahy and Jeffords and Bernie Sanders have introduced legislation to Congress that would designate an additional 48,000 acres as wilderness. Considering how quickly Vermont is being developed, this is the right thing to do.
When the Forest Service conducted its public comment period for the recent Green Mountain National Forest management plan last year, there were 10,000 comments submitted. Over 9,000 of these comments supported more wilderness. Less than 1 percent of all comments were against more wilderness. This is a clear statement by the general public for more wilderness.
There is still plenty of room in the 400,000-acre Green Mountain National Forest for snowmobiling and sustainable timber harvesting (in addition to the millions of acres of private land in Vermont where these activities can occur). So, as a Vermonter, I am glad that Vermont's congressional delegation is working to protect more wilderness.
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