The debate over O&C counties' funding links us to historical economies. The United States "gave" these lands to railroads to stimulate the economy in 1866.

By the 1880s Americans realized vast natural resources were limited, and interest in conservation sprouted as did anger toward heavily subsidized railroads. To modernize, the United States reclaimed 2.1 million acres in 1937, but Southern Oregon counties were offered triple the payments of regular national forests.

It was great while it lasted, but times have changed. The counties are obsessively stuck in the good ol' days.

There are many ways for the counties to produce revenue. Let's be creative and become an example of innovative change! Our timber resources are limited and managing for fire resiliency, timber byproducts and beauty will bring many more dollars to our economy than managing for timber alone.

Studies show that counties that protect lands have a higher per-capita income then those that don't. State of Jefferson counties have so much in place to attract new businesses and tourists — a wine industry, Shakespeare, Britt, a local food scene, and beauty that defies adjectives. Razing the landscape ignores these important assets.

The math isn't rocket-science — we need to move forward. — Kirsten Shockey, Applegate

In its editorial of Aug. 18 the Mail Tribune continues to act as a cheerleader for our country's collective lunacy. It's as if the editors don't have time to read the national and international stories that are included in their own newspaper, or perhaps they can't put the pieces together and detect some consistent patterns.

We are faced with two gigantic problems — economic and climatic. Together these will guarantee a future for most people now living that is less materially wealthy and likely to involve a lot of misery, depending on how we react to changing conditions.

One definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. The MT elects to go with the glitz of the type of commerce that has played a major role in bringing us to the current state of affairs, especially the bloated auto industry. The City of Medford is starting to take some tiny steps toward making downtown livable without a car. That's what needs to be supported. — Dean Ayers, Medford

I agree with most of what Becky Zelmer wrote (Aug. 20) concerning women's power to change the world and urging them to take charge of a world devastated by the rule of men since the very beginning.

Unless women, as both biological and spiritual mothers, actually do assume their innate power, then future generations (including their own children) will likely inherit a wold so devastated by the rule of men that it may well be a world not worth living in.

It is up to women to realize that the world we all live in today is actually the world that we of the present generation have borrowed from our children, just as our parents borrowed the world we now live in from us. Whatever state we leave it in is the world our children must live in. Considering how much we and previous generations have already plundered the Earth, it causes one to wonder — in the end — just what is any mother's love truly worth? — Matthew Lubic, Talent

I remember driving out of Mull Creek on the lower Rogue River in a van full of boaters. The guys up front were fascinated at the old-growth trees we were driving through and lamenting the road they were driving on as a symbol of the timber industry's rapacious logging practices.

I looked out the window at the big trees and noticed even bigger stumps throughout the forest floor. I didn't point out that the "old growth" they were admiring were actually second growth and the road they were driving on was the road the timber industry built to remove the old growth.

That was over 30 years ago, and the environmentalists still have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. But things have changed. You can see the forest right here in downtown Medford and Ashland. It's called smoke. — Bruce Bryden, Medford

The Oregon health care system has become a model that many other states are anxious to follow, and most of the credit for putting our system in that envious position belongs to State Sen. and Dr. Alan Bates.

While still carrying on his private practice, Dr. Bates spends much of his personal time working to improve conditions for Oregonians. Dr. Bates has introduced legislation to create a universal credentialing system for health care providers. Previously, providers were independently credentialed by hospitals and insurers but were required to file separate paperwork for each. The new system will eliminate administrative redundancies, reduce costs and allow more time for health care professionals to — well, provide health care.

Dr. Bates has led the way to implementing health care for all children in Oregon. He has played an instrumental role in major health care reforms in Oregon, and he deserves our support. — Victor Rogers, Ashland

The author of the letter printed in Sunday's Mail Tribune about the "racist" NFL commercials displays an amazing example of "projecting". This is an obvious case of the pot calling the kettle black (although it's apparent he'd prefer both the pot and the kettle be white.) — Jim Farrell, Central Point

Several days past, our auto engine stopped working and would not restart. Naturally this happened at one of Medford's busiest intersections.

Three young men, seeing our trouble, parked their auto and came to help us. These wonderful young men pushed our car out of that busy intersection and into the Jack in the Box parking lot. They then quickly left before we could adequately thank and reward them.

We hope you will publish this note as we very much appreciated their help. Thank you again, young gentlemen. — Mario and Arletta Brovelli, Medford

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