Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Wallowa range rider a great idea

To the editor:

The range-rider program implemented to monitor livestock and wolves in Wallowa County's summer range is a great idea. What's more, it's a very good example of the cooperation possible by the state, ranchers and conservationists to monitor wolf/livestock interaction, protect livestock, protect wolves, and create a consensus among Oregonians as to how to successfully coexist with our wolves.

Range-riders have proven effective in Montana and Idaho at saving the lives of stock and wolves. One of the lessons learned there has been that the more riders, the better the results. This may seem obvious, but often this simple fact is overlooked in the early stages of figuring out what's the best way to deal with the problems arising when cows or sheep graze in wolf country. The grazing allotments are so large and the cattle so widely dispersed that having one rider doesn't do the job. Having twice as many riders is more than twice as effective, and having three is more than three times as effective, because they can cover the adjacent ridges and pastures divided by the deep draws and canyons of the Salt Creek country.

I suggest that private citizens, conservation organizations other than Defenders of Wildlife (which already contributes), stockmen's associations, and area NGOs contribute to a fund to hire more riders for this season's grazing. If these funds can be matched by the remaining federal funds available for non-lethal wolf/livestock methods, even a total of $5,000 would be significant.

Wally Sykes


It's been quite a summer in Baker

To the editor:

We are having a wonderful summer in Baker City. We thought the Miners Jubilee was the best ever. It is amazing how many class reunions were there. I do not know of any other place where high school graduates return so often.

Wings Over Baker was a huge success with large crowds both days. We want to thank the community of Durkee for moving their renowned steak feed to the airport this year. The food was fantastic, and Gary Ball, longtime volunteer, reported they served nearly 700!

Congratulations to Mel Cross and all the volunteers who made this event possible. We talked to many out-of-town people who were very impressed with Baker County and Northeastern Oregon.

Frances Burgess

Baker City

Cancer survivor says thanks

To the editor:

As a cancer survivor, I would like to thank Kelly Hardy and each member of the committee for their hard work in making Baker City's Relay for Life such a wonderful event. As survivors, we were honored with the purple shirts and taking the track for the opening lap, treated to a catered dinner with birthday cake and each given an individual framed photo as a keepsake.

I also thank each team captain and their teams for all the successful fund raising, bringing in over $70,000 in this depressed economy. I thank our amazing community and the business sponsors for their continued support.

The American Cancer Society puts on these Relay for Life events all over the country to raise funds for researching a cure for cancer, so that you or your loved ones, some day, will never have to hear those devastating words, "You have cancer."

Ronaele Mello

Baker City

Planes should avoid towns

To the editor:

Baker City is blessed to be surrounded by such awesome beauty. The open ranges, streams, mountains and hills are unique to Oregon, which is one of the most beautiful states in the Union. I'm glad to be a resident after living in large cities much of my life.

However, I do have one comment that concerns me and that is all the various types of planes that fly frequently over Baker City. I've often wondered why pilots feel they need to, with so much open range available. With so many plane crashes happening across the country, including in residential areas, I would think pilots would avoid populated areas when possible. When I hear a low-flying plane with a very noisy engine fly over over near my house, I can't help but wonder if the plane is in trouble. The safety of the people in residential areas should always be the main concern of every pilot. Flying over populated areas should always be avoided when possible. Sudden emergency situations often happen without warning, and then it's too late.

Joanne Mollert

Baker City