Had this been done, the USDA would not have been so reluctant to release the vaccine, vaccination efforts in the U.S. could have begun as soon as the threat of VEE's entry became substantiated and doubts on the part of horse owners about the safety of the vaccine would have been greatly diminished. The Texans critical of the USDA's efforts are joined by many, many others around the nation, and we share their anger and sorrow.
J. M. NIEDERMEIER
BAN THE BILL
There is more to be said regarding your SCORECARD item of July 26 on the poisoning of the west. Not only did rancher Van Irvine get off with the minimum fine for violating Wyoming game and fish laws, but the taxpayers of this country subsidized his operation to the tune of over $44,000 last year. Stockmen are allowed the privilege of grazing sheep at the rate of about 12� per animal per month while private land leases for many times as much. The same stockmen frequently deny access of the "public land" to the public by closing the only roads to the land.
The use of these lands should be put up for bid by the government every 10 years, with sportsmen and other groups allowed to bid on land use. The successful bidder should then have to agree to make the land available to the public for recreational use and to accept the wildlife living on the public land as a part of the lease. The killing of any animal or bird in violation of state or federal game laws by the leaseholder should automatically revoke the lease. Since most state game laws do not prohibit killing coyotes and bobcats, the stockmen, without the use of planes or poisons, would be allowed to practice selective predator control at their own expense.
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado and other Western senators that would give these stockmen a "right" to the public land they use rather than the privilege of its use. The bill is S 2028. Representative Wayne Aspinall of Colorado sponsored a similar bill in the House of Representatives, HR 9002.
Perhaps Van Irvine's poisoning of the eagles, and the alleged killing of even more eagles in Wyoming by the use of helicopters, will bring to the public's attention some of the abuses of the use of public land that are now going on and that will get worse if S 2028 is passed.
HOW NOW HAWK?
Let Mad Mod Ken Harrelson (Fluttering Start For A Hungry Hawk, Aug. 16) not despair over the title of "Hawk" in golf, hitherto the undisputed accolade given to Ben Hogan. Harrelson is certain in time to become a "Ball Hawk," the title given to golfers who are good at finding balls in the rough.
FREDERICK M. REEDER
On July 18 one of the greatest athletes of this century and one of the finest and truest of all goodwill ambassadors of sport retired from international competition, and there was not one mention of this in your magazine. I refer, of course, to Pel�, the incomparable, a star on two championship Brazilian World Cup teams. Despite soccer's lack of popularity in the U.S. and Canada, you should not forget that it is the No. 1 sport in the world, and Pel� stood alone in it. He set records that will never be surpassed.
Fortunately, I saw him play in Montreal, and he outdrew the Expos, who were playing against the Braves at the same time. I had never seen anyone who performed in his sport with such a high degree of skill and ease. He should be considered the athlete of the century; perhaps only Babe Ruth or Jim Thorpe played with such natural ability. How can such an athlete be ignored?
FOOTBALL BY THE METER
Obviously, Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans was being facetious in his remark about the metric system ("They Said It," Aug. 9). Third and nine sounds the same in yards or meters, and looks about the same, too. But let's consider it seriously for a moment. Here are some suggestions:
1) Make the field 90 meters long with 10-meter end zones at either end.
2) Instead of 53?-yard-wide playing fields, make them an even 50 meters wide.
3) Kick off from the 30-meter line, to allow a few more runbacks on kickoffs.