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I read Betty Crowder's letter (Mailbox, Aug. 3) on the absence of wildlife on her property, and it startled me. We live on a hill in Petrolia — half forest, half meadow. We built our home in 1991. We delighted in the wildlife around us. We had quail, about 15. (They move so fast, they are hard to count.) One standing guard on a fence post. We enjoyed the antics of the ravens, diving and twirling, sitting high in the fir trees, looking for a handout. We saw an occasional red-tailed hawk. Lots of juncos on our deck, pecking at chick scratch. A herd of deer, about 11, grazed on the meadow. Rabbits, foxes and other critters. I realize that, in recent years, they have all disappeared — no quail, no juncos, rarely a raven. A few deer. We still see the turkey vultures.

Are they systematically being eliminated by diesel fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, contaminated rivers, creeks and soil from big grows? Their big concern is the money coming in — both the growers and city and county officials, looking to fill their coffers.

The Mattole Valley, as we have known it, is being destroyed. What is the answer? Or is there one?

Irene Wallace, Petrolia

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