An Oct. 4 letter to the editor that appeared in The News-Review contained a personal attack against my good name in its second paragraph. Titled “Forestry laws are workable,” the gentleman wrote, referring to my letter of Sept. 25: “I can accept that the author doesn’t care for people who harvest wood and make wood products. As the writer says, it is his opinion.”
Dislike of “people who harvest wood and make wood products” is not my opinion! Implying to readers that I hold such a sentiment is very nearly slanderous. Yes, I have a poor opinion of the Forest Practices Act with its destructive clear cuts and sprayed poisons, etc., but not of folks who work in the woods or mills. Rather, I dislike some of the things they are tasked to do while employed by the industrial timber industry. Many of them are my friends and neighbors. Like the preachers say: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
The author’s forestry perspectives are his opinion and he is entitled to them, even if others disagree. For example, he cites Oregon’s watershed councils as evidence that our streams are protected from the consequences of clear-cut logging. I have a seat on the Coquille Watershed Association Executive Council and I know that neither we nor any other such group has a mandate to function above the riparian zone, where clear-cuts take place. Further, we are not engaged in protecting our waterways so much as in trying to restore them to improved function after they have been badly degraded, in part, by years of poor forest practices.
The author is entitled to his honest opinions. He is not entitled to put words in my mouth.
Joseph Patrick Quinn