Letters to the Editor: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023

The Red Rock Wilderness Act protects us all. The toxic smoke from wildfires Ohioans experienced this summer shows us that the hazardous environmental impacts of climate change know no boundaries. Just as true is that protecting our planet and its natural areas makes our planet a healthier and safer place in which to live, for ourselves and future generations of Ohioans. Therefore, Ohioans necessarily have a genuine interest in protection of public lands within and beyond our state border. America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA) is currently being considered by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and would designate 8 million acres of eligible public lands in Utah as wilderness. This world-class landscape protected by the ARRWA includes places of critical ecological importance for biodiversity and curbing climate change. Nowhere else in the lower 48 can such intact wilderness-quality desert lands be found; unfortunately, this national treasure is threatened by rampant off-road vehicle use, inappropriate energy development, vegetation removal projects, and other shortsighted management and policy decisions. By co-sponsoring the ARRWA, the Ohio Congressional delegation can act now to protect the lands that connect us all and make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change.

- David Brown, Dayton

Ryan Jayne’s Sept. 5 column provided so much valuable information on the subject of “Ending School Voucher Funding”. I personally appreciate his contribution to a subject that needs to garner more awareness and scrutiny. This increasing allocation of education dollars to a voucher system for private and religious schools must be halted. Our taxes are supposed to go toward supporting public education, not tax exempt private and religious schools. How are we as a society going to elevate the less advantaged urban and rural districts if we redistribute these dollars, thereby decreasing the monies previously used to improve the public school systems? This voucher system allows such a negligible percentage of disadvantaged students the opportunity for a better environment and opportunity for learning that this cannot be the prevailing rationale for this system.

- Mary Copeland, Centerville