To the editor:
Now that the issue of Yucca Mountain has been brought back, it may be appropriate to note that it might be too little, too late (“GOP candidates favor Yucca Mountain,” April 7 Review-Journal). Reporter Laura Myers was very succinct in describing the comments of Niger Innis and Cresent Hardy favoring a safe approach to handling spent nuclear fuel in Nevada.
However, Pete Lyons, the assistant secretary of nuclear energy for the Department of Energy, was very blunt in his assessment of this issue in answering questions after his talk to the American Nuclear Society’s Nevada Section on March 27. Mr. Lyons’ comments indicated that, despite the fact that Yucca Mountain is probably well capable of physically handling this task, the politics of Nevada has most likely taken the state out of the game.
Simply put, Mr. Lyons emphasized that other areas of the U.S. are calling him almost every day to sway his attention to locating the spent fuel in their area. They are doubtlessly anxious to enjoy all the economic benefits and have weighed the risks as far less daunting than those benefits.
I applaud Mr. Innis and Mr. Hardy for their good sense to recognize an economic boon to Nevada at very little risk. But from what I can see, it would take a great public outcry to sway the Obama administration to reconsider Nevada. Be careful what you ask for in life, Nevada. You just might get it.
The writer is past president of the Nevada Section of the American Nuclear Society.
To the editor:
I became involved in trapping issues after running with my dog legally in the entrance of Mack Canyon. My dog was drawn to scent bait above a leg-hold trap, resulting in a $1,200 veterinarian bill. I subsequently attended wildlife board meetings and found the arrogant sense of entitlement reflected in the recent letter by Dan Zelna (“Trap defense,” March 14 Review-Journal).
Trappers have this conceit that only they are outdoorsmen with the requisite understanding of wildlife management, while the rest of us are uninformed urbanites. Their management includes the trapper on the Wildlife Board who posted a video of his dog terrorizing a bobcat in a leg-hold trap before killing the animal. The vast majority of back-country users are sporty types, very informed, and most look for the beauty of creation rather than lining their wallet.
Trappers raise the specter of rabies, but they neglect mentioning the huge profit from selling the skins of Nevada’s wildlife to foreign markets, while rejecting any regulation or paying the citizens of Nevada for the removal of our predators. An additional loss to Nevada citizens is the removal of predators that control the rodent populations that carry hantavirus and bubonic plague, diseases found on Mount Charleston.
The Journal of Wildlife Diseases reports trapping is only effective in controlling rabies within a small, restricted area, not by removing random animals within a large landscape. The most effective control of rabies and mange is scattering treats containing vaccine and miticide.
Many taxpayers bring their dogs to play on the public lands of Lee Canyon, where traps have literally been spread across the entrance, a spot where many people camp along Champion and Mack Canyon roads. Trappers feel entitled to demand the majority of us leash our dogs (although not required by law) in order to avoid their traps, and ask us to be responsible while failing to demand ranchers and bear and mountain lion hunters also keep their dogs on a leash all the time.
Trappers continually talk of tradition — an excuse the Japanese use to herd dolphins and stab them to death and that some cultures use to justify carrying knife handles made of endangered rhino horn. The excuse of tradition is used across vast areas of Africa, the Middle East and Asia to relegate women to expendable possessions.
Actions must be judged on their own merits.