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Medford letters, Sept. 17: Health and safety first

Health and safety first

The Mail Tribune has done an excellent job of keeping the problem of forest fires and smoke in the public eye. However, the response of politicians, with the exception of

Greg Walden, has been modest.

Forest fires require two basic elements: fuel and ignition. While we have no control over lightning strikes, we can reduce fuel availability by aggressively thinning forests and removing undergrowth. There must be loggers who would accomplish this in return for logging contracts that take into consideration the costs of such logging. Spotted owls exist in mixed-growth forests as well as old-growth forests.

A major impediment to thinning and undergrowth removal is restrictions designed to protect the spotted owl, a hoax perpetrated by people to whom the harvesting of a single tree is a moral outrage. The health and safety of Rogue Valley residents should take wide precedence over the preservation of the spotted owl.

Other contributing factors to the fire and smoke problems are the poor management of the national forests. We must maintain roads into the forests, establish wide fire breaks and attack fires in their early stages.

Donald Ogren

Medford

Happy to agree

Thank you, Carl F. Worden, for your letter of Sept. 8 regarding open carry. I’m so happy we agree on something! Nothing screams “I’m compensating” louder than a guy packing heat in a grocery store or a restaurant. Plus, my dad taught me how to shoot a .22 when I was 10, so not all us liberals want to overturn the 2nd Amendment — it’s the assault rifle thing that’s a bit extreme.

I bet our factions might agree on other things, too. Perhaps we could put our heads together to set term limits for Congress, or work to end their lifetime salaries and Cadillac healthcare once they leave office.

It’s worth a try.

LJ Zinkand

Medford

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