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ABQJOURNAL OPINION/LETTERS: Letters To the Editor

Want To See Animals? Get Out of Town
        THIS IS Albuquerque — not New York City or San Francisco — and $20 million for an "urban" wildlife refuge is beyond ridiculous. Albuquerque doesn’t have or need an "urban" wildlife refuge, for the same reason Albuquerque doesn’t have or need an underground subway system.
        This is another example of misguided government. As expected, Sens. Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman and Rep. Martin Heinrich have lined up to push this project on unsuspecting New Mexicans and Americans in large.
        This is a power grab, masquerading as a feel-good, all-American recreation and education program, coming from federal, state and local politicians that are part of or dominated by left-wing environmental activists.
        The Feds own about 30 percent of the land in the U.S., and in New Mexico it’s above 40 percent. I guess in the eyes of the New Mexico representatives and environmental activist, that’s not enough land mass for them to control. When the government designates land as a refuge or protected area, it means that you and I no longer have free access to that land or area. [mjh: Certifiable bullshit.] 
        Whether you like to hike, bike, hunt, fish, camp or just get outdoors for a picnic, it will no longer be your choice or on your terms. Any business development is completely out of the question, especially exploration and use of natural resources such as oil, gas, copper, potash, uranium or even lumber and dirt. …
        The education benefits are also a myth. … Heinrich’s observation that "there are few large undeveloped areas in the Middle Rio Grande Valley" is a very disingenuous, misleading and dishonest statement. A person can drive 30 minutes in any direction from Albuquerque and experience the great outdoors.
        If Heinrich feels the need to show a 7-year-old a goose or duck, he can drive a little further south than the South Valley to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is a 57,331-acre refuge straddling the Rio Grande Valley just off Interstate 25 south of Socorro. Not up for such a long drive, try Bernardo wildlife area or its neighbor Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Belen.
        The proposed "urban" wildlife refuge is government waste, fraud and abuse in its purist form.
JEFF HEISEL
Albuquerque

ABQJOURNAL OPINION/LETTERS: Letters To the Editor

Good grief, Jeff. Have you seen the property in question? This land is a gem of open space nestled between the curve of I-40 and the river. How on earth could this spot be improved by 5000 homes, a mall, a storage facility? This land has to stay open and it won’t if it stays in private hands. Therefore, government *must* do what only government will do: save this space for us all. Do you really think you would have more access to this land if it were a gated community? Do you not know that there is plenty of mineral extraction going on on federally held land all over the West?

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