Forest claims exaggerated

Recently, the House passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act, of which Rep. Greg Walden is a supporter as are other Republicans and Democrats across the nation. A local environmentalist is “terrified” that Walden would support the act. This environmentalist makes some exaggerated and misleading claims about local areas of notoriety being “slicked off,” although he knows darn well he and his cronies wouldn’t allow that to happen, nor will the established laws already protecting these areas.

What he claims may happen in Section 913 is nothing more than clarification and reaffirmation of the existing O&C Act of Aug. 28, 1937 which, among other mandates, does call for permanent forest production, something the BLM hasn’t been able to accomplish lately due to various required legal environmental and wildlife regulations, all of which he supports. HR 2936 does require projects to be developed through such community processes as collaboration, proposed by a county resource advisory committee, or are covered by a community wildfire protection plan.

Perhaps what terrifies him the most is Section 301: No attorney fees for forest management activity challenges, and having to abide by Section 311: Use of arbitration instead of litigation to address challenges to forest management activities.

Blair Moody, CF, Fellow, Society of American Foresters

Medford

Thanks for schools support

The ninth annual Monster Dash Run for Education, and the prior evening’s Monster Ball Pasta Dinner Party, were hugely successful. These fundraisers, held Oct. 27 and 28, were hosted by the Ashland Kiwanis Club in support of the Ashland Schools Foundation to raise funds for the Ashland public schools' classroom grant program.

Because of these events, hundreds of students will receive an enriched education in the arts, sciences and across the curriculum.

A big thank you to the general public for coming out to support these fundraisers!

Also, many thanks go to the many sponsors and volunteers (including the 60 AHS Key Club members) for supporting these events.

Ron Parker

Ashland Kiwanis Club

A welcome decision

What a welcome decision has recently been handed down by the Land Use Board of Appeals! Thankfully, the 1,000 Friends of Oregon went to bat for the future of the high-quality farmland along Rossanley Road (Highway 238).

We aren't against solar energy, but solar panels can be placed anywhere — on rocky, sandy or unproductive land. Oregon's highest quality farmland should not be permanently degraded for solar farms. LUBA's reversing the Jackson County approval of a proposed 37,905-panel solar farm should set a standard for the rest of our state.

The 1,000 Friends of Oregon works to protect Oregon for future generations. Most Oregonians love this state and want her farms, forests and special places protected from rampant, unplanned development. We have been members for many years and are especially glad to renew our membership this week. Anyone interested in supporting their work may contact 1000 Friends of Oregon, P.O. Box 40367, Portland, OR 97240-0367.

Robert & Joanne Wilcox

Central Point