The recent bill to protect the North Umpqua river and promoted by Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter Defazio is like using a tourniquet around the neck to stop a nose bleed.

I'm unaware of any mining activity or timber harvest ongoing, or in the works, along the North Umpqua. Not even thinning, which would protect and enhance the very resources the politicians are trying to protect.

It's crazy to think the Forest Service would consider any activity without protection of the North Umpqua River. This bill shows us all that the politicians don't trust the Forest Service and are out of touch with the people, our resources and problems.

The recent snowstorm left a good foot of snow in openings, yet the ground was bare under heavily forested areas. Every drop of precipitation gets to the ground in open areas. That's good because the soil becomes saturated, and water tables and summer stream flows are improved. It's bad, because there is excessive run off, and fully saturated soils can lead to land slides. The ground was bare under the trees because tree crowns intercepted the snow. That's good because run off is reduced and land slides are unlikely. It's bad because water tables and summer river flows remain low and the forest remains abnormally dry, even in wet years.

Obviously, it's desirable to be somewhere in the middle, but this bill made that impossible. Now the watershed is doomed to burn, and if you believe the global warming predictions of getting hotter, and dryer, for longer it would seem wise to fund actions, which would reduce fire intensity, and improve summer flows to protect fish rather than prevent management actions.

This bill may be worse than a napalm drop on the North Umpqua.

Don Wilson


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(2) comments

Suzan Mesik

Our County Commissioners, against the advise of their own Planning Department, really, really wants to open a quarry on the North Umpqua. So, mining. And all of it's attendant pollution, and the destruction of a neighborhood already plagued with Stuff leaking into their septic tanks. I also believe I read that they can't drink their water. The quarry would make this infinitely worse, and I hope to God it is blocked forever. I am REALLY GLAD this bill is working it's way into law.


I feel it was a giant over-step by the Democrats....and a big land grab for the Government.

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