Re "River in redwood country is worth more than nickel" (Viewpoints, Forum, Oct. 13): I agree with Tim Palmer that not every mineral deposit should be exploited at the expense of sensitive habitats and clean water. But his use of hyperbole to emphasize his point that mining companies can mine "with impunity" weakens his argument.
Perhaps Palmer has never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act or the National Historic Preservation Act or the Clean Water Act. All of these federal environmental regulations must be enforced by the lead federal environmental agency and are subject to public review and comment.
Mining on public land and its environmental review and permit process is a complex mixture of history, federal and state regulations and emotional responses. If Palmer wants the reader to help stop the proposed mine and preserve the Smith River perhaps he should offer guidance on public participation in the environmental process.
-- Jim Wallace, Courtland