LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ed Kupillas (Sept. 15) says conservation groups don't believe in forest management. The truth, and Kupillas knows this, is that conservation groups strongly embrace forest management that focuses on thinning trees to enable the restoration of more natural forests that are better adapted to wildfire.

The public embraces this type of forest management too. Polls also show that most Oregonians support protecting ancient forests, we want clean drinking water, recreation experiences with our families and beautiful views that support diverse businesses. The way in which we manage our forests affects all of that.

Thinning projects provide logs to local mills and are proven to make communities safer from fire. There is a massive backlog of thinning in our national forests and a lot of work that needs to be done. Conservation groups and the public support forest management, just not the industrial-style clearcutting management Kupillas espouses. — Joseph Vaile, KS Wild, Ashland

I certainly agree with Brian Ettling (guest opinion, Sept. 12) regarding climate-change evidence, but I would add biofuels to his list of renewable energies that need investment dollars.

Increasing solar, wind and geothermal will not, at least in the short term, reduce our demand for fossil fuels. These produce electricity while refined oil products fuel our transportation industries. There is little overlap. Lower-emissions natural gas can replace liquid fuel in many internal-combustion engines, but extraction has its own environmental issues. The popularity of personal electric vehicles seems to be increasing, but major technological improvements will be required before we see widespread application to buses, trucks, trains (other than commuter), etc. And I certainly won't live long enough to see an electric airliner.

I don't know to what extent biofuels offer reduced carbon emissions compared to refined oil products, but I do know that combustible fuels will be required for many years to come, and we're a long way from the widespread availability of biofuels. Increasing efficiency and reducing vehicle miles, coupled with a carbon tax, is probably our best short-term approach to reducing atmospheric CO2. — Stan Loer, Grants Pass

Alan Bates cites as an example of working together "plans for a proposed special session in which Democrats have offered Republicans a tax break for small business in exchange for eliminating an income-tax deduction for high-income taxpayers." Note that this was a plan; not something that happened. Bates gives not one past example, presumably because there are none. Furthermore, this plan tells Republicans what they should do as opposed to listening to and working with them. His perception that the Democrats work with the Republicans clearly is one-sided: he does not cite one Republican idea the Democrats have adopted. Alan Bates is the "great pretender, pretending that he is going well, adrift in a world of his own "¦" With apologies to Ram Buck and the Platters. — Beverly Layer, Medford

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