In response to Shannon Clery's letter, let's be truthful.

In response to Shannon Clery's letter, let's be truthful.

I don't believe anyone is advocating clearcutting or the indiscriminate use of herbicides on public lands. This is not what the timber industry and cash-strapped counties are asking for, as she suggests. — Richard Cody, Applegate

The excellent June 26 editorial on Medford employee pay didn't cover one of the giant impacts on taxpayers.

Labor negotiations time these big payouts in the final years of public employment. This gives huge boost to PERS checks of those soon-to-be retirees for decades.

One of the big factors in PERS payments is income during the last three years of employment. So if you think the check itself is excessive, calculate the PERS increase and your head will spin.

Some public agencies also allow employees to roll in unused sick leave, which boosts total W-2 compensation — and that again bumps PERS. Cash-strapped taxpayers have no idea of these implications over the long term. And when contracts come up for negotiation, most councils and other public boards leave the chore to their paid staff, who have every incentive to keep employees happy and very little incentive to protect taxpayers. — Bill Robertson, director, Jackson County Fire District No. 5, Ashland

River suction dredge mining creates pockets of extinction, one square foot of river bottom at a time. Even the smallest aquatic life that gets sucked through such dredges becomes puree.

They may be small creatures, but all food chains depend inordinately upon these smallest members.

Take, for example, the krill of the ocean: very small shrimp-like crustaceans, they sustain everything above them in the food chain, and directly and immediately the whales.

The Rogue River's aquatic life must be protected from the devastation caused by suction gold dredge mining.

Destroying 1 square foot of river bottom at a time is like a cancer to the river. Start small, just as a pinpoint lump for some women, or a hardly noticeable discoloration of tissue for some men, but lethal in their cumulative effect.

I wholeheartedly support Oregon Senate Bill 838, which sets a moratorium on suction dredge mining in Oregon's rivers. — Otis D. Swisher, Medford

For an opinion piece that blasts environmentalists for being loose with words, the June 23 pro-logging article by the Umpqua Forestry Coalition is sure light on facts.

The Bybee timber sale will log old growth despite timber industry claims to the contrary. Page 69 of the Environmental Assessment clearly states that the purpose of the proposed shelterwood logging units is to turn old-growth forests into fiber plantations.

The Bybee timber sale calls for punching 13 miles of new logging roads in to the very edge of Crater Lake National Park. So the timber industry claim that the sale is located in a "roaded area some distance from the park" is just not true.

UFC has every right to advocate for logging the ancient forests in the Rogue River headwaters adjacent to the park, but its sanctimonious rhetoric needs some fact-checking. — Stuart O'Neill, Ashland

I don't know where Mr. Will lives.

Based on his column June 27 in the Mail Tribune, I do know he needs to get out and about more often. — Harry Freiberg, Brookings