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With all the efforts being made to clean up the air we breathe, it seems one source of pollution is never targeted: skunks.

I have always lived in South Davis County, so I cannot speak knowledgeably of any other area. But I can scarcely remember a year that we haven't been plagued by the noxious pests.They are out and about even in winter. But from about May through October, they all too often make our environment almost unbearable. They nest in the fields along the freeway over such great distances that passers-by can't hold their breath long enough to escape the fumes.

Those responsible for the removal of road-kill on state roads and freeways seem to maintain a policy that, given enough time and traffic, skunk carcasses will eventually be pulverized and redistributed into the tire treads of unfortunate motorists.

The numbers of live skunks are too overwhelming (and the consequences too daunting) for any government agencies to be willing to deal with. But we all suffer whether we address the problem or not. I believe this poses a sufficient threat to our quality of life to warrant some action.

I propose that the matter be turned over to the state's Wildlife Management for the creation of a special hunt to eliminate as many skunks as possible, for perhaps two weekends in May or early June.

Permits should be issued only to licensed, qualified marksmen who excel at long-distance hunting. Full-length Army surplus ponchos could be donated to the brave souls willing to accept such a mission, along with gas masks from the National Guard units so equipped.

Volunteers could collect donations from a grateful citizenry for the purchase of a fine new hunting rifle to be awarded to the person who brings back the most pelts. Then all pelts could be treated and made into warm blankets for the homeless.

If a special hunt is too distasteful to the majority of our residents, perhaps a great roundup could be conducted by volunteer rangers instead.

The captured skunks could be airlifted to the Tooele Army Depot to be kept sealed in elaborate underground tunnels as natural chemical warfare agents, for those who believe we must continue to be prepared with such weaponry.

True, we would suffer intensely from the "fall-out" for a few days, but better that than months on end, every summer and fall. Then a year of skunk-odor-free air would follow. And each year, the process could be repeated until at last we would have relief.

Lex Bell