Letters to the Editor for April 4, 2011

By Jayson Jacoby / The Baker City Herald

Unlogged forests should stay

To the editor:

The United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests.There is a really great video called "Forests" on the official website at http://www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/videos.shtml.

The truth is forests worldwide need our help.The greatest remaining wilderness in North America, the boreal forest and all of its incredible wildlife diversity, is being logged to make junk mail, sales catalogues, and toilet paper.

The tropical forests such as the Amazon continue to be logged for

agricultural expansion, often for cows to produce more meat for

Americans.It's never been more important for all of us to think about

how our lifestyle impacts forests as they are showing multiple signs of

stress, globally.Many of these negative impacts start with the

consumption patterns in our everyday lives.I personally think that

significantly reducing our consumption is the single most important

thing we could do to solve many of our society's greatest challenges.

Here in Northeast Oregon we live in the temperate forest zone, the most

fragmented and reduced from its original extent from logging of the

major forest types.At the local level, I do think that in the past

couple of decades, management has improved.However there are too many

projects on our national forests that propose logging in areas that

have never been logged before.These previously unlogged forests are

rare, they are "lifeboats" to many old growth-dependent species, and

ecologically speaking they cannot be improved upon by

logging.Proposing logging in these areas is like asking a painter to

paint over a Van Gogh; or tearing down the historic district of your

quaint downtown for "redevelopment."Some of these previously unlogged

remnant stands exist within a heavily logged area.Yet they continue to

enrich the entire forest landscape by providing a unique forest

structure, higher quality wildlife habitat and often harbor more

sensitive plant species.Let's commemorate the International Year of

Forests by reducing wasteful consumption, and protecting the essential

by leaving all unlogged forests intact.

David Mildrexler

La Grande

Stop windmills by saving energy

To the editor:

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind will generate less

than 1 percent of electric production needs by 2030. Wind facilities

compromise our environment, health, wildlife and economy, and

Oregonians are paying the astronomical price for wind projects while

the energy goes out of state.

Wind developer hype is being challenged as the truth is exposed. Not

only is wind power highly subsidized, but additional CO2 emissions are

being generated as backup power plants are put into spinning reserve

when the wind is blowing. The very few long-term jobs cost taxpayers

millions per job. Plus, for every green job, 2.2 regular jobs are lost.

The Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley has started a campaign called

the Conserve 3 percent Energy Challenge. By conserving just 3 percent

of our electric energy, we can eliminate the need for wind power

production and its damaging effects.

Pamela Wilkinson

Education chairwoman

Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

La Grande

13110380
The Baker City Herald
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