Sometimes just asking hurts, too

There is a theory that if you ask for a lot, you will sometimes get a little. We believe that's what the Wilderness Project thought when they put together a proposal that called for the conversion of more than a half-million acres of public lands in Lyon and Mineral counties.

What they succeeded in doing is waving a red flag in front of the residents of the two counties and those of surrounding counties as well.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as "An area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

Generally, motorized traffic is forbidden in the wilderness. No new grazing or mining permits may be granted.

There are areas in this nation that should be preserved by this means, but only after long and careful consideration.

Public lands belong to the people of the United States and the federal government is called on to balance the interests of the nation as a whole and those who lived next door.

But like so many issues where the federal government is involved, the will of the nation is far more murky than the will of those who are directly affected.

We agree with Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that in trying to speak for the nation, the Wilderness Project overplayed their hand. By asking for a lot, wilderness project organizers may find they get nothing.


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