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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

This week, listeners respond to recent stories on: ATVs in the wilderness, presidential enviro-politics, and icky bugs.


CURWOOD: And now, comments from you, our listeners.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Susannah Wright's commentary comparing the environmental damage caused by off-road vehicle drivers to the work of miners and loggers in the West raised the hackles of Ron Brabander from North Sioux City, South Dakota. An avid off-road vehicle enthusiast, Mr. Brabander calls the commentary "a self-righteous tirade filled with baseless claims about the damage caused by off-road vehicles. It is," he writes, "a Chicken Little sort of extremism that is the basis for attempts by environmental extremists to take public land away from the public. Off-road vehicle users could be environmental allies," he adds, "as soon as it is realized that they are not the enemy."

Anne Oehlschlaeger, who lives in Laconia, New Hampshire and hears us on Maine Public Radio, was prompted to write in after hearing our political observer Mark Hertsgaard's thoughts on the role of the environment in the coming presidential election. Ms. Oehlschlaeger writes, "I would like to see the candidates actively competing for the environmental vote. Your piece gave me the idea, and thereby the hope, that for once such competition might eventually come about."

And our report on the return of the 17-year cicada in the Midwest drew a dismayed response from Susan Mills, a listener to KUMR in Rolla, Missouri. Ms. Mills thought our reporter was unnecessarily squeamish when it came to handling the insects. She writes that a show about ecology is hurt by those reporting about it not deigning the subject matter worthy of touch. To solve the problem, Ms. Mills has a suggestion. "Immerse your reporters on hands-on insect and reptile training," she writes. "Tarantulas are fun, and gopher snakes put on a tough face, but they are all hiss and no bite. And as for those squeamish types," Ms. Mills continues, "send them off to cover the fashion shows and Hollywood."



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