Writer's attack on SEAC unsubstantiated

Editor:

Devon Sanner's attack on SEAC-SW as hurting SEAC National's reputation ("Scope opposition hurting SEAC reputation," Nov. 27) is hilarious. Who is Devon Sanner? He is not a SEAC member, nor a subscriber to the National SEAC publication, Threshold, nor a national conference attendee. In fact, no one within the National SEAC network has ever heard of him. How then, pray tell, does he substantiate his attack? The fact is, he cannot.

It's unfortunate he never did even basic research before attempting to discredit us. Had he, he would know that not only does SEAC-SW work on some of the issues he mentions, but we work on other issues as well. For example, this semester alone, we organized a city-wide transportation symposium and a teach-in on political prisoners. We implemented end-of-the-semester campus waste-reduction measures, ran a food and clothing drive for indigenous people struggling for their lives against Peabody Coal on Big Mountain, presented at numerous public environmental forums, and worked in coalition with many local efforts everything from saving Honeybee Canyon and affirmative action to creating a raise in the minimum wage, to working to increase developers' fees fairly. Last weekend, we traveled to Ward Valley, a site upon which the UA hopes to one day dump hazardous waste, despite the fact that such dumping there is unconscionable. Ward Valley is yet another ill-conceived project on another sacred site, led by developers who have never once built a landfill which didn't leak. Furthermore, it is another case in which developers are trying to get a special exemption from the law.

Devon mentions putting efforts toward saving the Mexican Spotted Owl instead of wasting them on Mt. Graham. Once again, had he done a little research before making such random accusations, he would know that by stopping an unnecessary campground from being built on Mt. Graham, SEAC saved a crucial nesting habitat for the goshawk, as well as habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl.

Finally, what Devon would know and appreciate if he dedicated one-half as much energy toward the struggle as he does against it by way of misguided character assassinations is that in order to be effective, people have to pick and choose their battles carefully. It's true we do work on Mt. Graham. One of the reasons that Mt. Graham is such a good issue for us is that it's our administration which is breaking the law. Had they, too, done their homework and not been so arrogant, they would not be in the predicament they are in now.

Why did we choose the Mt. Graham issue? To stop a telescope complex? No, of course not. This is about stopping UA actions which violate the spirit and the mandate of national cultural and environmental protection laws, which irreversibly impact the sensitive social and ecological balance upon which we all depend, and which set a damaging precedent for other culturally and environmentally insensitive institutions.

Carolyn Harris

Undeclared Graduate Student

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