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Polar bears lose protection

Regarding the Washington Watch brief ``Less protection for sea mammals,'' March 24: Not only does the new Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) provide less protection for sea mammals, it has opened the door to an ``open season'' on polar bears.

The 1972 MMPA prohibited the import of polar bear (trophy) parts. That has been reversed, and the Alaskan and Russian polar bear populations will suffer as a result.

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I believe that the members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Committee feel - and vote - their allegiance to its hunting premise more than they do to the protection of our country's environment and wildlife. Eleanor L. Jones, Cottondale, Ala.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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