Editorial mistakenly compared two timber sales

A recent editorial, “Reviving a forest project,” Sept. 6, 2017, states that environmental groups oppose the Sparta project and ones like it because they include commercial logging. Both statements are patently untrue.

The Greater Hells Canyon Council (formally Hells Canyon Preservation Council) did not oppose the Sparta project. In fact, we are actively working with industry, local communities and other interests in our local forest collaboratives and elsewhere to help design projects that improve forest health and support local communities.

We have been able to do so on the East Face project on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Thomas Creek and Kahler projects on the Umatilla National Forest. These projects include significant amounts of commercial logging but they are also designed with important protections for forests, wildlife, and waters.

We did object to, and successfully litigate, the Snow Basin project because it removed commercial product from the woods at the expense of forest health, fire resiliency and wildlife. In that regard, the Sparta and Snow Basin projects are as different as night and day. The planning areas for both are located in the Eagle Creek drainage but the parallels stop there.

Unlike Sparta, the Snow Basin project would have logged over 40,000 large and old growth trees, damaged elk habitat and logged in remote high elevation moist and cold forests. Sparta does not include any of these activities and in fact makes improvements to big game habitat.

By stating that these projects are the same and environmental groups are opposed to both does a disservice to the public discourse around management of our public lands. If we want to solve the problems facing our forests we need to stop pointing fingers and create space for respectful dialogue based on facts.

Veronica Warnock

Conservation director

Greater Hells Canyon Council

La Grande

If you don’t love America, you don’t have to stay

Where do we as Americans take a stand or draw the line? I love this country, so much so I felt the need to serve in our military and 23 years of public service after my enlistment. That being said, I take umbrage to those who prosper under the freedom our men and women in both the military and law enforcement provide and protest this country. Take the NFL. This last Sunday two teams refused to take the field during the national anthem. Shame on both teams and the NFL for allowing this to occur. These players make huge amounts of money under the very privilege provided them by those who write a blank check with their lives and their families lives.

I think if we, Americans who love this country, start boycotting the NFL and all their products, it won’t take long to get their attention via their wallets.

Shame on them and all who disrespect our flag, anthem and country. Shame for minimalizing the lives laid down to protect them and their rights. Protest if you want but it’s my right to turn you off and support those who support America and all our country stands for. Let’s not allow our country and it’s history to be erased by those who don’t appreciate the human sacrifice to keep us free. Removing statues our altering our history as a country diminshes who we are and how far we’ve come. We are “one nation under God.” I respect your religion/beliefs but we are a Christian nation. Don’t ask us to change what our forefathers fought and died for. One of the freedoms you enjoy is the ability to leave. No one is forcing you to live here.

Love it or leave it!

Thomas Wilcoxson

Baker City