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Fund allocation

Two environmental articles side by side in The Union on May 24 caught my attention. One reported that Placer County voted $10 million toward the $23.5 million purchase price for nearly 1,500 acres of permanently protected open space in Martis Valley. This is a wonderful example of enlightened public policy resulting in a public-private partnership to preserve this beautiful area from future development and for future generations.

The second article reports a $5.3 million fine against a pipeline operator for fuel spills in the Donner Lake area. The article further states the state Water Board will receive $1.3 million of the penalty money. Recently a fuel oil spill in Massachusetts resulted in $7 million of a $10 million federal fine being awarded to purchase open space, key to environmental health in the spill area. I suggest that the very best way to use the Donner spill fine money is to use it to purchasing critical open space in the Sierra. The $5 million leveraged in this way rather than spent on current government operations will pay huge dividends for our children and grandchildren.

Lee Hayes



Nevada City


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