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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 11

The logging illusion

Linda Goltz (letters, Aug. 4) urges adjusting forest management to address the fire problem that seems increasingly to cloud our summers. Unfortunately, she offers solutions that are illusions.

Goltz seemingly forgets that our southwest forests are fire-prone, fire-adapted, and require fire for ongoing health; managing to eliminate fire would be disastrous, even if achievable.

It’s important to remember that the dominant factors inducing high versus average fire seasons are date of spring snowmelt and summer temperature/ These two factors are mainly influenced by global warming, not forest management choices. Second, let’s understand that forest structure has been transformed by many decades of fire suppression resulting in an invasion of, and high density of, shade-tolerant, fire-intolerant Douglas fir seedlings surviving under the canopy. This likely increases the risk that ignited fires will spread.

Like many others, Goltz recommends logging as a solution. What she overlooks is the data telling us that logging, especially clearcuts followed by plantations, probably increase fire risk.

The recent fires resulted from lightning strikes from the Kalmiopsis to Crater Lake. Loggers would have had to be everywhere to squelch them.

Until we address global warming and reintroduce managed fire, efforts to reduce smoky summers will fail.

Gary Clarida

Rogue River

Defend your rights

America is great! We have our problems, but here is why we are great: freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and open elections.

Now, you may take issue with the on-the-ground applications of these hallmarks of the U.S. Constitution. But all patriotic Americans would do their utmost to defend these enshrined rights.

You would expect our president to tirelessly stand up for and protect these rights. These are exceptional paradigms of our democracy. So it is hard to believe that we have a president who actively, regularly and even viciously launches verbal and incendiary attacks against these freedoms that make America great.

What is more perplexing is Congress (especially the GOP) behaving in lock-step with the president. The greatness of America is being given up for short-term gain.

What do you expect will happen when the “press” is only what is officially sanctioned by the government? Remember when the USSR dissolved and Russia became a country? It had promise of greatness in 1991. Thirty years later it is a puppet government run by an autocrat. Can you see it happening here? If you can, then what are you going to do in November?

Manuel De Aquino

Ashland

The climate crisis

We face a climate crisis of almost unimaginable severity and it is destroying the world as we know it.

Heat is ratcheting up beyond what can be borne by flora and fauna. fires are consuming forests and grasslands around the globe (even in the Arctic Circle). Potable water is disappearing as mountaintop ice melts and aquifers are no longer replenished. Species extinctions and oceans are both on the rise.

Make no mistake: Mankind’s use of fossil fuel is the main cause of this dire crisis. Scientists have understood since the 1800s how greenhouse gases generated by fossil fuels prevent heat from escaping our atmosphere.

They warned our leaders, but like the grasshopper in Aesop’s fable, governmental leaders ignored the warnings. Then, too, the powerful fossil fuel/defense industry promulgated doubt and misinformation, obscuring the science time after time. And now, time is running out.

The most assured way to stop fossil fuel use is via governmental intervention. This cannot occur unless those elected understand science and reject fossil fuel/defense industry “donations.”

The climate crisis is more clearly revealed each day and is the most vital issue before us. It dictates whether or not humankind will survive.

Lee Lull

Talent

Don’t Californicate Oregon!

Been to California lately? It is deep in debt, the roads are horrible and so is traffic. Formerly beautiful cities like San Francisco are now dumping grounds for used needles, trash and excrement from a burgeoning transient population. Illegal immigrant crime is rampant, and the taxes are so high there is a mass exodus of residents occurring.

Do you want Oregon to be like that?

Even rank liberals are disturbed by the fact they now have to pay a fee to stop to see natural features in Oregon. As usual, liberals ruin everything they touch. They cannot handle tax money responsibly, they cannot govern responsibly, and every big U.S. city and state that is facing bankruptcy is run by a Democrat-infested government.

The state of Oregon has fallen into that same trap, and it will get worse if we keep electing idiot liberals to public office. Liberals make great writers, sculptors, artists, actors, song writers, and musicians, but when it comes to governing and responsible spending, you need conservatives to get the job done right.

Carl F. Worden

Eagle Point

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