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March 12, 2014
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Letter: Disease and over-harvesting affect more than trees in Douglas County

Forest status is devastating

Laminated root rot devours the roots of Douglas fir trees from Montana to the Pacific Ocean and from British Columbia to Northern California. It has already cost the timber industry millions of dollars.

This fungus destroys the roots of the trees, leaving them weakened and susceptible to bark beetle attacks and being uprooted during winter storms. Foresters have known about this disease since the 1940s, but much remains a mystery.

Karen Ripley, forest health program manager for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, says climate change forecasts for warmer temperatures and more frequent droughts mean Douglas fir trees will become even more susceptible to laminated root rot.

On top of all this, some of our federal lawmakers insist that a million of the 2.6 million acres of the O&C railroad timber must be cut. Huge logging equipment is working all over the Cascade, Callahan and coastal mountains in Douglas County. If anyone doesn’t believe it, they should just take a drive and see for themselves.

I can understand cutting the diseased trees and removing them, but when healthy forests are flattened and beautiful streams are turned into mud pots, how are the fish going to survive?

And what is going to be used for structures? Several times on local news, I’ve heard that China only wants logs, not finished products. Do you suppose they plan to use the chips left from the beetles to make chip-board for buildings here at home? Explain how this kind of logging is going to help our mill workers.

I travel many miles in these mountains every year and it just makes me sick to see the devastation!

Neva Gray Haley


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The News-Review Updated Mar 28, 2014 03:27PM Published Mar 12, 2014 01:40PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.