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ESA Legislation Threatens Rural Land

The author of the article ''Noah's Ark or Nuisance,'' Sept. 26, conveniently forgot to include some of the pertinent legislation regarding endangered species.

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He states that the Pombo-Young bill is favored by Western lawmakers.

It is, in fact, a compromise of Western attitudes carefully aimed at lifting the most onerous and misanthropic provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) while not repealing the regulatory structure so revered by environmentalists. Many Western lawmakers believe that we need to go further to halt the genocide of rural culture in their homelands, which has resulted from the ESA.

The author also ignores an important bill in the legislative debate from Rep. John Shadegg (R) of Arizona. This bill embraces the so-called ''common ground'' of incentives and removes the regulatory portions of the ESA in favor of incentives on private land and agency cooperation on public land for species recovery.

After all, what is an incentive offered in one hand if the club is still in the other? Nothing but the cheese in the mousetrap.

Brian Bishop Exeter, R.I.


Repeal Endangered Species Act Now

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Foreign-aid fraud

Regarding the opinion-page article ''Political Will, Not Aid, Fosters Foreign Development,'' Sept. 15: We heartily attest to the author's knowledge about waste and fraud of some foreign aid.

We have been on foreign assignments in Jamaica and Eastern European countries and are dismayed to observe the futility of vast US Agency for International Development (AID) appropriations.

Ultimately, it does not fulfill the purpose for which it was intended - to help the deserving people in third-world countries help themselves. We laud the author's final statement, which should be heeded by foreign-aid appropriations committees: ''The free-market principles we seek to export should be applied within AID: Assistance should be viewed as an investment, and US taxpayers should expect returns on that investment, rather than billions lost through waste, corruption, and political expediency.''

J.C. Dennison Idyllwild, Calif.

John and Peter Stoneham

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 may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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