This post is another in a series highlighting published letters to newspaper editors that concern or refer to the California condor. Here are excerpts from 8 more letters that appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
In the 3 March 1990 edition, D. L. Cassatt responded to an article about a stellar high-school math teacher frustrated by the bureaucracy of the public school system:
Escalante has one humongous, insurmountable problem. He is an educator, and educators are more rare and more threatened than California condors.
On 23 October 1991, a pair of letters were published under a photo of a California condor. The 1st is from Robert Dietch, a representative of an electric utility:
Southern California Edison watched with great excitement and anticipation the recent release of two zoo-bred California condors into the Ventura County wilderness….
Edison is pleased to be assisting in the return of the condor to the wild by modifying certain power poles to help make the area safer for the condor …
The 2nd is from Dean L. Silbiger and concerns the cost of the captive-breeding and release program that prevented the extinction of the condor:
The question in my mind is what was the source of the money. If the project was privately funded, that is fine. If it was publicly funded, it represents an indefensible squandering of taxpayer’s money.
Rosemary Riggio echoed this sentiment on 21 January 1992:
Somewhere along the line our priorites have been misplaced, when we spend $20 million to save California condors and the California homeless are going without shelter or food.
A letter by Philip B. Maurice appeared under the heading “Justice for the Condors” on 10 August 1992:
I was outraged to read … that three shots had been fired at one of the two California condors that have been released back into the wild …
It is difficult to understand how anyone could even conceive of attempting to fire upon these magnificent and endangered birds …
On 8 September 1992, J. Michele Tebeau, another representative of a business, wrote about the California condor:
In 1987 Seneca [Resources] learned that the overhead power lines that fueled our operations threatened the soaring paths of California condors … Representatives from Seneca met voluntarily with Southern California Edison and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and offered to bury 1.6 miles of power lines….
… Seneca has donated the materials, equipment and people to erect special perches, elevated, bear-proofed platforms and feeding areas…. Seneca … regularly holds classes for field personnel where they are taught the responsibilities associated with working around the only two California condors found anywhere in the world flying wild.
Robert M. Walp raised more concern about spending priorities on 11 April 1994:
The condor recovery program has spent $15 million over 12 years and there are 80 condors; that’s more than $15,000 per year for each bird. How wonderful it would be if we had money like that to help our disadvantaged youth.
Finally, Jean Thompson’s letter of 27 September 1994 was published under the heading “Let Them Circle”. Thompson wrote in support of the turkey vultures roosting near a shopping mall, providing sound ornithological information in the process:
The turkey vulture ranges from southern Canada to southern South America. The largest North American vultures is the California condor, on which millions of dollars have been spent to save them from extinction….
Having watched their beautiful, graceful, soaring flight … we would miss [the turkey vultures] if [they] left or were endangered in any way.
For more letters to the editor, continue with the post Letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times: late 1980s.