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Auburn canyon no wilderness

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As a water resources engineer and former Auburn resident married to a third-generation Auburn native, I had to chuckle at the sub-header on the article regarding the funding pact for the Auburn State Recreation Area (“Signing ceremony marks end of three years of uncertainty for wilderness canyon below Auburn,” Journal, Feb. 22). The American River canyon below Auburn is anything but wilderness. Using the term wilderness congers up an impression of it being a pristine, undisturbed environment. While “newbies” may fall for that characterization, the canyon is one of the most heavily disturbed areas in Northern California due to all the mining, road, railroad and dam building that occurred from 1849 through the 1970s. To be sure, it is a nice area the management of which will be helped by the pact. But pristine wilderness? Get a grip on reality, folks. Lance Johnson, Shaver Lake