As a hunter, I am concerned that ODFW is funding its cougar study with money generated from hunting licenses. Instead of managing for an estimated 40 percent reduction in the cougar population, ODFW should focus its resources on techniques which reduce conflicts between cougars and humans, such as wildlife habitat preservation, improved animal husbandry, and comprehensive public education.

One objective of the ODFW study is to determine the effect on elk and deer populations when cougars are killed. It's no secret that cougars kill deer and elk — it's in their job description, and has been for thousands of years.

As a hunter, I view cougars not as competitors for game, but as an integral part of my hunting experience. A landscape devoid of cougars, but with perhaps a few more deer or elk, is an impoverished landscape. Given the impacts humans have had on deer, elk, and cougar habitat in the form of logging, fire exclusion, agriculture, and housing developments, surely we hunters can afford to share some big game with cougars.

Cougars are a magnificent and natural part of Oregon. ODFW should be stopped from persecuting cougars in the name of science and a trumped-up public safety issue. — Lori Cooper, Ruch

Many heated words have appeared on this page about Darwin's theory of evolution versus the Christian right's intelligent design. But, are these positions irreconcilable?

Darwin's findings (and discoveries since) identified an adaptation and a progressive mutation facility in animals. But that doesn't identify a cause (though some think it does) and it contradicts entropy.

I once heard a scientist describe an insect that had eventually developed wings. He claimed the insect itself had accomplished that feat "because it needed to." Yeah, right!

But folks in the other camp, like the late Jerry Falwell, insist creation days were normal, 24-hour days. Now, the word "day" in the Bible is usually used in that sense, but Peter stated that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and vice versa (2 Peter 3:8). And, the word "today" is used in the book of Hebrews (Chap. 4) to mean the seventh day, that period between the end of creation and Jesus' return.

Finally, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states (under the heading: Genesis, subheading: Translation Problems): The "evening-morning" of Genesis 1:8 should be more accurately rendered "this was the second complete phase of the entire cycle." — Hartley Anderson, Medford

Thanks to Dr. Bates for writing a rebuttal to the comments on the red-light flap.

I was sure there was a sound reason for his support of HB 2701. It is shocking how many people jump at the chance to put someone down, especially when they don't have all the facts.

Which is what I am going to do because I think Chris Conrad should be taking all the flak since he only did a half a job in the report that caused all the negative letters about one of Oregon's most respected senators. Shame on you and the Mail Tribune editorial staff for letting that get through. — Victor Rogers, Ashland

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