Letters to the Editor…


Last updated 12/22/2021 at Noon

Thank-you to Sisters community

To the Editor:

I would like to send a thank-you note to the community and friends for their support following Rick Judy’s passing away:

Griffin, Chelsea Judy and I thank everyone who came to the ceremony of light held in his honor last Saturday, and for the condolences we received via emails, phone calls, or sympathy cards. All were unique to Rick and we would have liked to thank everyone personally.

Please accept our most profound gratitude for your presence; for donations to the Sisters Rotary Foundation for the Rick Judy Academic Scholarship for Sisters High School graduating seniors; and, most of all, for your friendship.

Bernadette Labrie

s s s

Mule deer decline

To the Editor:

I would like to expand on your comments about cougar predation on mule deer (“Mule deer in steep decline in Sisters Country,” The Nugget, December 15, page 1).

It is estimated that there are in excess of 6,000 cougars in Oregon, far above ODFW’s management goal of 3,000. Adult cougars generally kill one deer a week, or about 50 deer per year.

If one makes the conservative assumption that Deschutes County has only one percent of Oregon’s cougar population, that gives us 60 cougars. If they each kill 50 deer yearly then 3,000 deer fall prey to these 60 cougars. It should come as no surprise that we have a declining deer population to accompany a rising cougar population.

In the next several decades, we are also likely to have one or more wolf packs in the county also putting pressure on mule deer. In addition to predation we also have the specter of chronic wasting disease (now in Idaho), which will eventually spread to our deer herds.

The net effect is likely to be that ODFW will be managing deer herds that will be careening toward near extinction over the next few decades.

While it is true that human activity and development have encroached on cougar habitat, it is also true that the great increase in cougar numbers has filled the suitable habitat, and cougars are now being found in more densely populated suburban areas.

There is no easy answer to these problems. When the citizens of Oregon passed Measure 18, which prohibited hunting cougars with hounds, they unwisely decided to manage wildlife by popular vote and ignore science and the wildlife biologists.

One idea that has some appeal comes from the cities and counties that have “safe haven” ordinances where undocumented immigrants aren’t prosecuted. Perhaps some counties could create safe havens for hunters who hunt with hounds and choose not to prosecute them.

Jim Thrower

s s s

To the Editor:

When we started the Wolf Welcome Committee, early this year, one of our first questions was: Would wolves even want to live here? With the numbers of deer and elk in severe decline, would there be enough prey for them? Would these marvelous and elusive animals choose to share their habitat with so many people? And what about our effect on the rest of the local wildlife?

By far the most obvious impact on these populations is us. The Deschutes already experiences the greatest human use of all National Forests in our state and more people just keep coming: hikers, bikers, rafters, canoeists, hunters, fishermen and women, bird watchers, campers. Everyone wants to enjoy the natural bounty of this incredible place. And many decide to stay.

So, what’s happening outside the DNF boundaries? Exponential development. We are building our houses upon historical deer winter ranges. And near where we put our homes, we often alter the native vegetation that the animals have long depended upon. But it’s not just the ranges that are affected, it’s also the corridors that deer have traditionally used to move safely across landscapes. Highways, forest roads, and hiking trails impede travel for all wildlife.

Local agencies have been working collaboratively to address some of these problems. Deschutes County is currently deciding how to respond to data from new wildlife inventories taken for the first time in almost 30 years. Along Highway 97, we now have a handful of underpasses, allowing wildlife to cross safely — cutting way back on dangerous automobile/deer accidents. And as The Nugget articles discussed, there are forest-wide winter closures in place. But with so much area to cover, official monitoring and enforcement is sorely lacking. This leaves it up to citizens to act responsibly when we choose to go out to enjoy nature, and we should always be cognizant of our impact.

Humans are in the midst of an unprecedented era where we are choosing which animals will or won’t survive our massive impact. Sometimes this seems like an impossible situation. How can people, with all of our needs and wants, keep from destroying what we love about the natural world around us? The Wolf Welcome Committee believes that we must start from a place of humility and compassion — educating ourselves about how we can best coexist with all of our wild neighbors.

Susan Prince & Jennie Sharp

s s s

Shed the radicals

To the Editor:

I’m not in any way trying to defend Democrats: They are being led by the left of their party. I believe that we should not be blaming the entire Democratic Party for the stupidity of the left.

I am a libertarian, a moderate Republican. I should not be blamed for what those on the extreme right of my party do, as in January 6, but we are and that [angers me].

Do you really believe that all Democrats believe that all Republicans are racist? The left and right of us are always louder, and that loudness prevails over the conscience-minded moderates of either party.The radicals of either party, the media are one and the same, all feeding out of the same political trough. Both Democrats and Republicans have to be willing to shed the radicals from their parties. The way to do that is to argue CRT and all the other leftist ideals that are divisive. At the same time Republicans must convey to the radical right of their party that the Constitution is in desperate need of contemporary thinking.

Terry Coultas

s s s

No on Tina Kotek

To the Editor:

It is soon election time in Oregon; more explicitly, the governor’s election.

While there are many candidates in the running, none stand out as the least desirable as does Tina Kotek. Ms. Kotek is a close friend of Governor Brown, and is basically a clone on how she runs governmental agencies. It should surprise no one that she is an extreme leftist with progressive agendas. Just recently, she lied to the Republicans in the State House on redistricting. Yet, she is touting herself as a good leader.

She has stood behind Brown on most, if not all, issues. However, the legacy of Brown is nothing but dismal. Let’s explore just a sample of the failed Brown legacy: Hundreds of millions wasted on providing Medicaid benefits to 55,000 ineligible Oregonians, $300 million wasted on the Obamacare website. PERS deficit up over $25 billion, without any attempt to rectify the problem. (Being in the pocket of the union may explain that one.) Lack of agency oversight on daycare facilities. Foster care complaints and lawsuits which cost the State $39 million in defense costs. Brown filed a false lobbying report indicating that zero monies were spent when in actuality the State spent $165,000.

Over 8,000 senior abuse claims filed against the State that were hidden from the public. The recent Oregon employment department fiasco that resulted in thousands of claims never paid. The failure to use the grant of $85 million to upgrade the employment computer systems. ODOT’s poisoning of trees in Central Oregon by employees who were not qualified or licensed to administer herbicides. $12.5 million wasted on the failed Wickiup Junction overpass. The millions wasted on the DMV computer issues and the continued closure of many state agencies to the public despite the fact that stores and restaurants remain open (what’s the difference?).

While there is much more to talk about on the topic, I think you get the idea. So, whether you are Republican, Democrat, or independent, this list of costs should make you angry, unless of course you don’t care where your tax dollars go. The point in all this is before you vote for the next governor, please make an informed decision and consider how the dots are connected. Tina Kotek is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Do not give her your endorsement, but look elsewhere for someone who will peel the onion of government spending and actually be a leader instead of a clone.

Owen Herzberg


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