Unfortunately, “alternative facts” and fear-based bluster often speak loudest on social media platforms like Facebook. Readers, however, expect a higher standard from their newspaper. After all, editors and editorial boards, not mindless algorithms, are supposed to ensure statements printed as fact are indeed so.
Thus, it was disappointing to see an opinion piece (Who engineered this train wreck?, Nov. 29), containing a number of untruths given space inn The News-Review. These “facts” apparently went unchecked. The author made a claim related to local non-profit conservation group, Umpqua Watersheds, which is false. Currently, there is no member of the board of directors of UW matching the person that letter writer described. If he got this key fact wrong, which other facts about our environment has he also gotten wrong?
The author also fails to note that the professor he rants against invited him in to speak to her class — a less than honest omission.
No one at UW holds that “No logging is good logging.” While it is certainly true that we do not think much of clear cutting as practiced under the lax environmental protections of the outdated Oregon Forest Practices Act, we continue to support logging that effectively restores forest health.
For the record: Umpqua Watersheds' board is a diverse group, volunteers all. We care passionately about the environmental health that supports all living beings, human and otherwise. We reject the premise that conservationists are more to blame for wildfire than 100 years of fire suppression, the clear cut liquidation of highly fire resistant old growth stands, their replacement with fire bomb plantations, and onrushing, human-influenced climate change.
Despite the poor example set by the White House these days, like it or not, facts remain facts, and truth still matters. Our community deserves better from its local newspaper.
Joseph Patrick Quinn