Letters, Sept. 6
Wyden’s support appreciated
As an owner of a business that depends on clear water and rivers, I applaud Sen. Ron Wyden for advancing the River Democracy Act, a bill based on nominations of thousands of Oregonians that will help increase protections for Oregon’s treasured wild rivers. Everyone loves refreshing and healthy rivers, especially in summer’s heat.
Here in southwest Oregon, Rough and Ready Creek, one stream up for protection, serves as home to the highest concentration of rare plants in Oregon, provides clear, cold water for the Wild and Scenic Illinois and Rogue rivers, and offers rugged whitewater. Silver Creek, another proposed Illinois tributary, is one of the most productive native steelhead streams in the Rogue River Basin.
Wild and Scenic designation includes the conservation of clean water for both recreation and drinking — and the reduction in wildfire risks through thoughtful planning and management. By directing our land managers to prioritize taking better care of wild rivers, I am hopeful these outstanding natural assets will be conserved into the future.
I appreciate Wyden for his dedication to helping protect the rivers that shape the geography of Oregon just as much as the livelihood and culture of its citizens with the River Democracy Act.
Zachary Collier, Northwest Rafting Co.
COVID and freedom
Many of us in this community are eager to see the end of the pandemic. However, there are people who apparently don’t wish to see it end. At least that is the impression that I am getting, since these people refuse to do anything to help bring the pandemic to a close — such as getting the COVID-19 vaccine or even wearing a mask.
Last week a there was a protest against mandatory vaccines in front of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. That protest even made the CBS national news as part of a coverage of the pandemic situation here in Medford. How embarrassing for this community! A friend of mine in North Carolina told me that he saw that news item.
The people refusing to do these simple things often cite “freedom” or “personal choice.” I might point out to them that, in a civilized society, there are limits to freedom or personal choice. Many of our laws restrict our freedoms. Our freedoms are not so broad that they allow us to damage other people.
Everyone in this community is negatively impacted by those not doing their part to help end the pandemic.
Harlow Z. Head