Opinion » Letters

Carrizo heritage site debate is a trip-wire

San Luis Obispo

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Why is the year-old failed attempt to designate Carrizo as a U.N. World Heritage Site now a hot topic in the supervisor races? Far from being the benign “Nobel Prize for special places” ascribed by Sierra Club-elected Supervisor Jim Patterson, World Heritage Site status would have brought U.N. scrutiny and international enviro-leftist pressures upon SLO County.

They say we threw away millions of dollars in free advertising and tourism, yet Sierra Club director Andrew Christie wrote, “No. Carrizo is an hour’s drive from SLO and all traditional surrounding spots on the standard tourist itinerary.” (“County looks gift horse in the mouth,” April 5, 2007). Preservationists know thousands of tourists do not preserve, just as they know a multi-million dollar tourism economy at faraway Carrizo is a ruse. Carrizo simply is not a Yellowstone or Yosemite. Yet the ruse is perpetuated to entice moderate voters toward Sierra Club-beholden supervisors.

Succinctly, World Heritage status is exactly the kind of trip-wire the Sierra Club spends hours laying to obstruct progress such as the hypocritically opposed solar plants at Carrizo. Votes for Lenthall, Ovitt, and Arnold are therefore not pro-bulldozer. These are the votes that will keep special interests, such as the Sierra Club, from weaving their trip-wires into local governance.

-- Kevin P. Rice - San Luis Obispo

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