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Letters to the editor for September 11, 2008

Weather foils best efforts

Jim Lunders’ job hardly changes from year to year but his approval ratings, for want of a better term, fluctuate as widely as a scandal-prone politician’s.

This is because Lunders’ performance depends largely on the weather.

Lunders gets paid to kill mosquitoes.

This is never an easy task in the 200,000-acre district that Lunders manages. But some years his duty is considerably more daunting than in others.

The past two years illustrate this point perfectly.

Closing roads: We don’t all get a vote

Let’s be clear on one thing: The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s road-closure process is not a democratic one.

Only one person will decide which roads on the Wallowa-Whitman that are now open to motor vehicles will be closed.

His name is Steve Ellis. He’s the Wallowa-Whitman supervisor.

But although no one other than Ellis will make that decision, everyone else has the right to lobby him.

This includes residents of the five counties across which the Wallowa-Whitman sprawls: Baker, Union, Wallowa, Grant and Umatilla.

Letters to the editor for September 10, 2008

Letter to the editor for September 9, 2008

Protect watershed

Whoever started the fire last week in Baker City’s watershed probably figured the diminutive blaze was of little consequence.

Luckily, they were right.

Yet that fire, though it burned less than one-tenth of an acre before four Forest Service firefighters put it out Friday evening, could have left the city’s 4,000 or so households with dry faucets and a hefty bill to get them flowing again.

The fire might prompt city officials to cancel hunters’ privileges to legally walk into the watershed and go after a deer or an elk.

Letter to the editor for September 8, 2008

Letter to the editor for September 3, 2008

A tough year killing skeeters

I will agree, in part, with a caller who left a message on my answering machine complaining that not enough had been done about the mosquitoes this summer.

However, I must add that I feel the vector control district has done everything within its power to reduce mosquito numbers as much as possible.

At this point in the season, the district has logged 302 phone calls. Of these calls 249 were adult mosquito reports, 16 event fogging requests, 12 dead bird reports, four larval inspection requests, three no-spray list, two for advice on out-of-district mosquito control and 16 miscellaneous calls, including thank-yous. The district has made 381 larvacide treatments covering 9,985 acres as well as 55 adulticide treatments covering 63,939 acres.

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