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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 12

Bring back smoke jumpers

Us old salts who logged in the woods in the ’70s know why there are so many large forest fires and why our valley is filled with smoke each summer. It is all about corporate greed and the wildfire suppression industry being out of control.

Until the early ’80s we had over 1,000 smoke jumpers who jumped into fire zones and quickly contained small fires before they blew up into huge forest fires.

With 1,000 smoke Jumpers we rarely had smoke in the valley in the summer. These cost-effective and successful smoke jumper firefighters have now been reduced to less than 400. In contrast, Russia has over 2,000 smoke jumpers.

There is much more money in having standby helicopters at $15,000 and hour, armies of firefighters who need paramedics, water, laundry and shower trucks, food caterers, as well as airplanes that drop their fire retardant at exuberant costs.

Bring back the smoke jumpers and we will not have smoke in the valley and people will not be dying from the forest fires.

The forest fires and smoke in the valley are all about corporate greed and bought politicians.

Mike E. Miles


Banging the table

As she did when she was a county commissioner and someone disagreed with her, Sue Kupillas responded to Dr. DellaSala, Dr. Ingalsbee and Mr. Ruediger’s guest opinion (“The inconvenient truth about forest fires,” July 29) with an attorney’s three-step strategy: 1) when the evidence is against you, argue the law; 2) when the law is against you, argue the evidence; 3) when both the evidence and the law are against you, bang on the table.

Kupillas’s response to DellaSala et al.’s arguments resorted to the lowest levels of logic: name-calling and ad hominem attacks. Unless she explicitly refutes the central points of DeSalla, Ingalsbee and Ruediger’s data and science, all Kupillas achieves by banging away is a greater quantity of noise.

Francis S. Gilbert

Rogue River

Sustainable forestry

A clearcut does not help create a healthy forest. Selective cutting optimizing for profit does not help create a healthy forest. Intensive fire suppression does not help create a healthy forest.

We should have a vibrant economy grounded in sustainable practices that involve:

1. Selective cutting leaving a well-defined selection of legacy trees and other plants appropriate to each segment of the forest.

2. We need to acknowledge that forest fires are not the problem, the problem is forest incineration via raging infernos.

3. Burning wood (biologically sequestered carbon) is fundamentally different than burning fossil fuels (geologically sequestered carbon).

We should not return to the “Smokey Bear” hysteria of the past. And, forest practices should be defined by what is good for the forest rather than what is good for some anonymous stockholder.

Robert I. ‘RIP’ Price


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