Wild and scenic measure deserved consideration too

08/21/2014 4:08 PM

08/22/2014 5:16 PM

Re "State's sacred sites should be protected" (Another View, Aug. 21): Assemblyman Mike Gatto's plea for protecting Native American sacred sites seems genuine and heartfelt. However, Gatto's sympathies don't extend to efforts to preserve California's wild places and free-flowing rivers, such as the Mokelumne River.

In his capacity as chair of Assembly Appropriations, Gatto used the committee suspense file process to derail legislation seeking to protect the Mokelumne under the state's wild and scenic rivers system. This prevented an Assembly floor vote and successfully killed the measure. No previous wild and scenic measure considered by the legislature in the past 25 years was ever treated this way.

Gatto's legislation calling for greater CEQA scrutiny of Native American sacred sites could increase government costs for reviewing development projects affecting such places, if not stop some projects altogether. However, both measures are important and deserve up and down legislative votes on their merits.

-- Jeff Shellito, Sacramento

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