Why is mental health giving services to someone with a warrant in another county? Why is the county footing the bill so that county mental health workers are becoming taxicabs? With all the cuts that are on the table, I can see why county mental health gets the first cut. — Andy Arebalo, Medford

The June 4 and June 9 op-eds regarding the "new era" of public lands management raise important issues about the management of our public lands in Southern Oregon.

They both refer to "O&C" lands. After I read these articles, from strikingly different viewpoints, I dug deeper into where these "O&C" lands are located. My research led me to www.backyardforests.org and reveals that O&C lands in Southern Oregon are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. As a resident of the Applegate Valley, they surround me.

These are not some far-off lands that no one ever visits; rather they are close-to-home places that provide clean water, precious habitat, recreation, scenic beauty and some of Oregon's last, ancient forests. Some timber companies and county officials are pushing a plan to dramatically increase clearcutting on the O&C forests, many of which are close to populated areas.

I am one of 40,000 Oregonians that lives right next to one of these "backyard forests." I will be urging Sen. Ron Wyden's office to create a plan for O&C lands that promotes responsible forest management while safeguarding the clear streams and old-growth forests adjacent to my backyard. I hope you will too. — Megan Fehrman, Ruch

I am writing in support of Senate Bill 838, calling for a temporary moratorium on suction dredge mining in the Rogue basin.

Since 1975, I have made my living in the sporting goods industry. The majority of that time as a wholesale distributor, supplying local retailers with the tools that thousands of residents and visitors alike utilize in enjoying the extraordinary recreation opportunities our Rogue River provides.

While we have witnessed the decline of our timber industry, we have also witnessed the growth and stainability of our recreation industry. I am well aware of the millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs outdoor recreation provides locally. The Rogue River is a primary contributor to that economic reality.

With the help of millions of taxpayer dollars we have made great strides in restoring Rogue River salmon and steelhead habitat, as well as creating greater rafting and boating opportunities on our river, by removing fish-killing, river-blocking barriers. It makes no sense, fiscally or socially, to now sit back and watch our efforts be sucked away by the huge influx of hobby miners taking over our river.

Please join me in asking our legislators to support Senate Bill 838. — Dave Strahan, Grants Pass

Regarding the recent Memorial Day services held at the Eagle Point Veterans Cemetery:

Speakers at this annual event, in addition to honoring veterans, would be remiss if they did not honor the many sacrifices their families endured while they served. For the uninformed, in addition to veterans, the veteran's spouse and minor children are also eligible for internment.

My wife and I have family members interred as well as many friends who have passed. We visit the cemetery several times a year. We notice the erection of a beautiful Columbarium Wall that contains the cremains of veterans and families. We also notice a much needed larger chapel that is under construction.

Lastly, concerning Paul Fattig's thought-provoking piece on military heroes, I agree with his thoughts that the term is too loosely used. As a Marine Corps Reservist, I was activated to serve during the outbreak of the Korean War along with thousands of others. There are those who sacrificed their life, others who suffered grievous wounds and others who performed heroic deeds for which they were awarded medals for valor. They are the heroes.

I served when needed. I returned unscathed. Please call me a patriot. — Jonathan Lucky, Medford

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