Letters to the Editor (8/15/2013)

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Magdalena residents watch your forest
Editor:
There they go again trying to pull a fast one! Cheryl Prewitt, spokesperson for the Cibola Ranger District, says “in the past they had to get a new permit every time … so we are working on getting a permit that will cover the whole thing (EDC Aug. 1).” Really? And what is that?  “A joint proposal from the military entities and Forest Service,” for war games.
In past years those entities really did ruffle the feathers of local concerned citizens — including us, who moved there.
Magdalena in 1989: I remember driving up Kelly Road to go home and being startled by camouflaged individuals chasing one another around the vacant BIA buildings. I was told that it continued into the night ruffling feathers of citizens simply hoping for a peaceful night’s sleep. Those were the ground maneuvers. In the air over the years, Cannon Air Force Base sent foreign pilots for training in fighter jets over Magdalena, sometimes just clearing the mountains. Those maneuvers would drive our horses crazy. And the noise would drive me crazy! It stopped after we complained. After all, the allure of Magdalena is its beauty of nature and its peace and quiet.
We hear that now Randolph Air Force Base in Texas has contracted with a San Antonio, Texas PR firm to write up the 350 page EA report with details and maps. To make it available they tell us to look it up on a confusing website or else go to the local library or the Magdalena Forest Service to read it. The comment period ends on Aug. 21.
Are we really going to risk having Magdalena as we know it disappear? Are we going to allow persons who probably have never bothered to bask in Magdalena’s sunshine and blue skies — or gorged themselves with our fresh air while being blown away by incredible bird songs…? Are we going to allow such outsiders to delete what they do not know and have not experienced? I say, absolutely No!
I challenge all concern citizens to call Dennis Aldridge at the Magdalena Ranger office at 575-854-2281 and NEPA coordinator Cheryl Prewitt at 505-346-3820 and just say “ABSOLUTELY NO.”
P.S. This seems to be anti-terrorist training for foreign entities. The American military has its own bases. The creators of this project must believe that Magdalena with its low population would have low collateral damage when mistakes occur and they will. All humans make mistakes.
Patricia Beasley
Magdalena