On Oct. 12, David Buhler, candidate for Salt Lake City mayor, called a press conference to criticize Ralph Becker's environmental record. Because Mr. Buhler's criticisms were inaccurate, the Sierra Club is obliged to respond.

Buhler criticized Becker's effectiveness because state appropriations to the LeRay McAlister Fund declined during Becker's tenure in the Legislature. This fund was created several years ago to provide for purchase and preservation of open space. Even in the face of budget shortfalls in the past few years, Becker, along with all of the Democrats and many moderate Republicans, fought to continue funding this important program. Many conservative Republicans have attempted to eliminate the fund entirely.

Now that we are seeing budget surpluses, this coalition is working to restore funding.

In the past, Mr. Buhler has been straightforward on environmental issues, and we are disappointed to see him take this disingenuous path.

Scott Daniels

Chairman of Political Committee

Utah Chapter Sierra Club

Salt Lake City