Timber Interests Get Carte Blanche In Oregon

Great respect to Saint John Hunt for his April 7 letter (“The Rape of Oregon”). Your awareness of an ugly clearcut indicates your good heart for our environment and the forest habitat of thousands of other species. You have lived here and faced that hurt for two years. I’ve lived here for 50 and have become almost numb to the clearcut. I remember the one-log loads that were commonplace back then, along with the words of my old Coast Range friend and logger, Tom Alexander, who at age 92 said, “ We never thought we would get it all, but we did.”

The once-vast forests of western Oregon and the Pacific Northwest were referred to by Oregon State University scientific studies as being more important to the health of the planet than all of the tropical forests combined. Meanwhile the reductionist timber families speak of the mono-cropped Doug-fir plantations as “forests,” counting the three-year-old seedlings as though they constitute such a complex, multi-layered bio-sphere as true forests do.

Unfortunately, the freaky tragedy of clearcut logging is not only what you see. The layers upon layers of poison herbicide that are applied to kill competing vegetation end up in our water, our bodies and wildlife are hidden. The Forest Practices Act gives the timber industry and the chemical and financial industries carte blanche to do as they will with our precious forest lands.

Richard Gross