Forest health problems result from mismanagement

The Sept. 25, 2021, issue of the Baker City Herald, from “Just get the shot” to the public forests in Oregon and much of the West are sic, and often on fire, is hardly a revelation.

Stating that the loggers and environmentalists concur is wrong. The loggers and ranchers are the real environmentalists, it was and is their livelihood. When a fire occurred on public land the logger was handed a paper sleeping bag and a sack lunch and put the fire out. They did not “contain and monitor.”

The 1990 Wallowa-Whitman forest plan was a reasonable plan until the so-called environmentalists, along with judges, started amending the plan (spotted owl and eastside screens, 21-inch rule). Next came the big business of fighting wildfires. The industry was destroyed and we lost 15 mills in less than 10 years, including our own private mill.

Our company had 23 large companies work out of our shop, both private and government. There wasn’t enough hours in the day to keep the hard-working, independent loggers in the woods. We now have many displaced log cutters working at Ash Grove, and several have retired from there. Many of the young people came by and shook our hand on their way to find work.

You can’t blame this on climate change. Put the blame where it is due — on mismanagement. It took 17 years for the feds and Western Oregon to recognize Eastern Oregon had a serious problem — tussock moths, pine borer beetle and spruce budworm, and tussock moth again.

“Senators demand climate action in federal budget plan.” This picture was taken in 2007 at the Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland. “We are working as quickly as possible but want it done right.” How is this working out?

By the way, in the letter to the editor. Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. That was case law against the Department of Education.

Alice Knapp

Baker City

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