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Don't label environmentalists selfish because of their views

Niagara Gazette, 15 March 2000

This is in response to the letter to the editor by Rene Sauvageau on the issue of the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway and the "selfishness" of environmentalists. Attacking a group of people who are looking to create a better environment so she can continue to get to her destination faster is the epitome of selfishness. She says "the selfish minority doesn't consider the transportation needs of the general public."

Give me a break!

There have always been other ways to get from Niagara Falls to Lewiston besides the parkway. The parking lots that she claims are never filled to capacity must have a cloaking device on when she passes by. The Whirlpool, Devil's Hole, Schoellkopf Museum and Goat Island parking lots are always filled by tourists and locals during our peak tourist season.

Does she also expect these lots to be filled to capacity with three feet of snow on the ground? I also take offense to the statement that "very few of these individuals are crowding the existing parklands along the gorge" since I, myself, have been there twice this week already. When was the last time she visited a local park?

That being said, I'd like to address this quote from Sauvageau--"Their personal views and nihilistic acts of these insurgents should and must not be permitted to infringe upon the rights of the public." What? Now we don't want anyone thinking we're tying to start a nuclear power plant, so let's clear the air. The very definition of nihilism could lead one to believe we are a bunch of head-hunting extremist rebels who have no moral principles and are looking to start a revolution in Niagara Falls by trying to restore a park. Second, an insurgent is a rebel against a lawful government or civil authority. Funny thing about that is, two of the main proponents for the removal of the parkway are Niagara Falls councilmen. Is this a government conspiracy concocted by the people who voted these gentlemen into office? For Pete's sake. Third, I'd like to know just what "rights" we are trying to take away from the public? Do you really think this plan is designed to keep people away from the gorge? Maybe you should try to understand this proposal before you go shooting it down and using big words to insult decent people.

People who have a vision that extends beyond concrete highways, paved parking lots and clear-cut forests represent hope for this and all generations to come. Were it not for the work of past environmentalists, the futuristic vision of a "Silent Spring" that Rachel Carson wrote about back in the 1960s would surely be a reality today.

Lori Stumpf, Lewiston


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