Letter to the editor:

This is our land, not the military’s

Our purpose-focused Air Force proposes taking 300,000 acres, immediately abutting Las Vegas, from our beautiful Desert National Wildlife Refuge for invasive training. It could eloquently justify claiming all of Nevada. Many self-interested parties are drooling to see these refuge acres usurped for the precedent to exploit all other federal and state lands and waters.

Once the beauty is gone, it’s gone forever. LA once was surrounded by natural land. Las Vegas still is, but it used to be more like Pahrump. And today’s Pahrump used to be more like rural Beatty. Before you know it, Las Vegas will become another mega-city like LA, endlessly surrounded by sprawl and no natural spaces.

If military exercises in these mountains are necessary for our safety, I would rather be unsafe. Willingness to go into harm’s way should not become harm to beautiful places in our own country.

We can again mutely acquiesce while our treasured lands are chipped away, or we can purposefully preserve soul-restoring wildlands.