|9/19/2017 12:47:00 PM|
Letters to the Editor 09/20/2017
To the Editor:
The recent events associated with the Milli wildfire have caused me to wonder about the Forest Service, both state and federal, and their management policies and practices and the resulting impact on budgets, jobs and air quality.
I do not understand how environmental groups could endorse a no-cut timber program that results in huge wildfires. This does not seem to be an environmentally sensible thing.
I cannot help but wonder about the environmental damage caused by an out-of-control wildfire in our forests as compared to a well-managed logging program.
Wildfires do provide some short-term employment in a very hot and dangerous profession and a great deal of air pollution, while destroying hundreds of thousands or millions of board feet of valuable timber. Wildfires are also a huge drain on the forestry departments' already strained and meager budgets. I also wonder if the heat generated by a wildfire contributes to global warming.
Wildfires do an incredibly huge amount of damage to wildlife and their habitat, while a well-managed logging program may do some minor damage for a very short time with minimal wild life loss.
I believe a well-managed logging program that logged 1 percent of our forestlands every year would provide a renewable and sustainable never-ending supply of 100-year-old trees and result in a vibrant and diverse timber industry.
Furthermore, a well-managed logging program would also reduce the ladder fuels that contribute to wildfire growth. Logging roads not only provide access to the timber but also provide a firebreak and enable better, more prompt routes to a wildfire.
Logging programs provide a broad spectrum of long-term jobs and payroll tax revenue. The forestry department would receive revenue for the logging operations that could be used for reforestation and to improve trails and campgrounds for use by the public, and coincidently provide much cleaner air quality. The state would also receive revenues from timber sales that could be used to provide financial aid to our school systems that are in desperate need of financial assistance.
The way we have been managing our forests for the last 30+ years is not working for the people, the economy, the animals and their habitat, and the environment.
We need to make a change.
To the Editor:
Those of us who lived in Sisters, or were frequent visitors, in the 1970s and '80s remember the painful transition from a logging economy to a tourism-based economy. Fortunately we made a successful transition and Sisters is a desirable place to live as a result.
However, we risk all that we love about this place if the current forest management (or lack of) continues. The debate over whether to let National Forest and wilderness burn, as we have done for decades now, should be over. It is obvious that fires are much more intense due to the current forest policies, including the failure to treat burned areas after a fire. Snags, fallen trees, and large areas of manzanita growth make each successive fire more intense, destroying everything in its path.
Forget about increasing school enrollment, affordable housing, or whether we need another roundabout. None of those will matter if we continue to let our forests burn, because no one will want to live here or visit. It is time for our city representatives (and the Chamber) to gather the public for a discussion on forest management, and then push for a new way forward. This needs to happen now, along with calls to Wyden, Merkley, and Walden, demanding action.
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