Mount Graham project is a 'flawed path'


UA astronomer Neville Woolf (Sept. 2) says Mount Graham opponents seek to collapse their floundering, underfinanced project with courtroom delay. No! Opponents have opposed the project because UA chose to bypass our country's environmental and cultural laws and because superior astrophysical sites exist which do not needlessly destroy an irreplaceable ecosystem of unique plants and animals.

UA followed a flawed path of arrogantly circumventing established law, using defective science and relying on scare tactics claiming loss of partners. Ironically, UA's U.S. partners did vanish, not wishing to be part of this environmental, human rights and scientific blunder. UA never took the time to do their science homework. Four years after they rushed their rider through Congress, their own site was "unacceptable." If UA had used those years to do the science, it would have allowed time for the environmental and cultural studies.

UA persists in its deception of claiming the squirrel benefits from UA's clandestine Dec. 7 deforesting blitz to relocate Columbus to an illegal location. From the first squirrel studies until 1992, the records clearly show more squirrels at the illegal site. In 1992, UA admitted it could not determine the comparative value of the illegal site for squirrels since large parts of it were unstudied, being outside the area Congress authorized! In 1993, just before the secret clear-cut a hush-hush Forest Service study, lacking qualified peer review or public comment, alleged the squirrels had now abandoned the illegal site and would never want to return there- pure science-fiction!

Haste makes waste. There are no short-cuts to academic honesty.

Mike Shih

SEAC Southwest Office

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