Select cut, don’t clearcut
This newspaper presents two profoundly conflicting positions. The Umpqua River system is beautiful, and with good reason The News-Review touts and promotes the many benefits, pleasures and values of our beloved Umpqua River. We promote the “Land of Umpqua” as we restore the salmon runs through the Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers. This is well and good.
What I do not understand is why this paper constantly pounds the drum for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s misbegotten bill to manage BLM timber under the grievously deficient Forest Practices Act. Clearcut lands dry faster in the summer and melt snow faster in the winter. The muddy water in the river is soil being eroded from the fresh clearcuts.
They are removing complex ecosystems of great value to create monocultures vulnerable to disease, insects and wildfire. Accelerating harvest under these rules will degrade our river even faster.
Clearcuts are ugly. When people live in the country next to a lush, cool forest full of life and suddenly witness its conversion into a wasteland, they are stunned. Even with replanting, it will never approach what was there. The real issue is not the harvest of timber, it is too much clearcutting. Thinning and selective harvesting creates jobs, grows larger, more valuable trees and does not devalue surrounding properties. DeFazio’s one-sided proposal is not the end of the dispute; it moves the fight from Washington, D.C., to Salem and the Forest Practices Act.
Richard M. Chasm