Editor, Daily Nexus,

When I was five years old, I moved from L.A. to a ranch in Los Padres National Forest, 20 miles from UCSB. This pristine natural area was my home for 12 years, and I have a very strong attachment to it. I was furious when I first heard that our government is thinking about opening Los Padres for oil and gas drilling. How could they possibly consider drilling in our protected forest? This forest, which stretches all the way from Los Angeles to San Francisco, is home to at least 20 endangered and threatened species, including the California condor and the San Joaquin kit fox. To disturb this delicate environment would be an utterly inhumane assault on nature.

After my initial rage wore off, I tried to be more reasonable and give the plan the benefit of the doubt. But it turns out that there is only enough to fuel U.S. consumption for a maximum of 5 days, and as much as 66 percent of the oak woodland in the forest could be destroyed in the process. Why would anyone be willing to irreparably damage two million acres of California’s coast for a measly five days’ worth of oil?

Luckily, we have a wonderful representative in Congress by the name of Lois Capps. She has always been outspoken in protecting the environment. If you agree that this proposal is ludicrous, come support her. She is holding a press conference this Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 10:45 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Courthouse to defend our beloved forest and my home. For more information, please contact Erin Duffy of the California Wild Heritage Campaign at (805) 564-2460 or Calwild_sb@yahoo.com.