We can't thank you enough for Paul Fattig's wonderful Sunday Tribune front-page article honoring Dave Willis and his supporters for their tireless efforts on behalf of Soda Mountain Wilderness Area. It warms our heart to see this treasure preserved at last.

We can't thank you enough for Paul Fattig's wonderful Sunday Tribune front-page article honoring Dave Willis and his supporters for their tireless efforts on behalf of Soda Mountain Wilderness Area. It warms our heart to see this treasure preserved at last.

As backpackers, my wife and I know there are few remaining special places, reachable only on foot or horseback; places free from the noise, tunnel vision and chaos wrought by the automobile; places where wild nature is protected from cattle grazing and vehicular use, which all too easily rupture the fragile fabric of native ecosystems. These quiet places are easily forgotten inside the city, suburb or industrial farmland.

Thanks too for publishing the maps and explanation of the special values of this wilderness, a key part of our region's heritage. Thanks for former Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt's reminder that "This should inspire us to look at the entire Klamath-Siskiyou ecosystem. There is still more to do." And Dave Willis' thoughtful question: "If the Soda Mountain area is the genetic loading dock to the Noah's Ark of globally significant Klamath-Siskiyou botanical diversity, isn't it odd that the little Soda Mountain loading dock has received a lot more proportional protection than the larger Klamath-Siskiyou ark itself?" — John Fisher-Smith, Ashland

I truly appreciate my community's respect for the life of the recently slain cougar. Every time I drive by the "scene of the crime," I wish that the outcome had been better for the cat — maybe "a great escape."

Here's my story: Six months ago, my three sons tragically lost their dad. In case you missed the two or three articles in our local paper, he was murdered! Then their home was torched to ashes on the summit of Dead Indian, destroying all the treasures and memories of their young lives. Dave Lewis was 46 years old.

I love my community because we don't turn our heads from caring either for cougars or the life of a young father.

Does anyone know the murderer(s)? Has anyone heard anything? I am asking my community for prayer, positive thoughts and real help for the truth to prevail. — Josee Fournier, Ashland

Since our county is in such dire need of the necessities of everyday living, why is it that after umpteen years of not having a million dollar-plus pedestrian bridge over Barnett Road, is it needed now?

There will only be a selected few to use it. We travel that street and cross that bridge over Bear Creek several times and week and have yet to see anyone trying to get across.

Why not use some of that money to locate a desirable place for a senior center? The current one is a disgrace for a city the size of Medford. It is in bad condition, the location is bad as well as unsafe and parking is inadequate. Why not have a pleasurable place for those who have already paid their dues?

Suggestion: Take a look at the cities of Redmond and Bend that have beautiful facilities for their seniors. Another thought on how to use the stimulus money: Put it to a vote to the people. — Henry Dorig, Medford