To the editor:

With the resignation of Rep. Tom Butler, the one who is chosen to replace him will have a distinct advantage in the upcoming election. Therefore, I think it is extremely important that the individual who is most qualified to protect the interests of Eastern Oregon be chosen to complete his term.

I believe Cliff Bentz is that individual. There are few things more important to our economy in Eastern Oregon than the protection of our natural resources. The most important of those resources, I believe, is water.

The two terms that Cliff served on the Oregon Water Resources Commission has prepared him for the challenge of protecting our natural resources. I appeared before the Water Resources Commission a number of times while Cliff was on the Commission and observed his leadership and grasp of the issues. His fellow commissioners also recognized his abilities which led to their electing him vice-chair and then chair of the Commission.

There was a great deal of effort given to diminishing or overturning our water rights in the last legislative session. The effort is only going to intensify. We need Cliff's leadership and experience in Salem.

Lynn Shumway


Editor's Note: Shumway is a director with the Burnt River Irrigation District.