Your recent article about a federal permit being reinstated for a planned development project in Benson ("Corps grants Vigneto permit again", Aug. 14, [Published in the  News-Sun's online edition from the Herald/Review] is so rife with errors it is impossible to catalogue them in the limited space provided. For example, the article states that the federal 404 permit would result in "discharge dredged and fill material into rivers, streams and wetlands, in this instance the San Pedro River." This is patently false, because the permit pertains to the property of the proposed project, which is 3 miles west of the San Pedro River.

Perhaps this error was made because the article reads like a press release from opponents of the project. Nevermind that the three species that triggered the review weren't documented on the property of the proposed development. Instead, the article's author abandons all pretense of objectivity by quoting no fewer than five project opponents who were given 345 words, constituting almost 40 percent of the article's word count, to air their views. Wow.

Conservation is ill-served by lawsuits and tenuous arguments that look more like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what if anything sticks than sound conservation. Conservation is usually a difficult, long-term proposition that depends on creative problem solving and the good will of private and public sector actors. Lawsuits and soundbites are cheap and easy. Effective conservation is much harder. But you would never know that from the biased, lazy story.

Brian Seasholes

Executive Director

Southwestern Communities Coalition

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