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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 16, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Safety at Death Valley’s abandoned mines

We’re going to need a bigger net

Regarding the $233 million needed to block access to Death Valley’s abandoned mines: It is tragic when one person dies in an accident, but 33 deaths in abandoned mines in eight years is surely dwarfed by the numbers of people who die falling down stairs, off ladders, out of trees, off wilderness trails, in bicycle accidents, and the 60,000 or so that die in road accidents yearly [“Thousands of old mines endanger parks’ visitors,” Nation & World, Nov. 11].

It is not the responsibility of the taxpayers to protect the careless or unlucky from all risk. A prominent sign at each park entrance which says, “Warning. Abandoned mines are dangerous. Explore at your own risk,” should be sufficient.

Or perhaps we should also hang netting across the Grand Canyon and drain all lakes and streams to prevent drownings.

— Richard Faiola, Olympia

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