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Letters, July 26

Invest in wild steelhead

I’m 78 years old and have fished for Oregon wild steelhead for decades. Over the years I have fished the Rogue River many times. Every time, I come I hire a guide, obtain lodging, buy food and gas and purchase a license. Over the decades I have spent over $35,000 in your local economy. If you account for friends, you have over $100,000 in the economy of Oregon.

The reason I go to Oregon? California doesn’t really have wild steelhead anymore. Clearcutting, bad fish management, bad water management mean the legendary wild steelhead runs that I remember no longer exist. California’s greed and stupidity destroyed this amazing resource.

Any conscious fisherman can live without killing a wild steelhead. There are enough hatchery fish out there to fill a dinner plate. It would be nice to think that my five granddaughters will have the opportunity to actually catch and release a wild steelhead. I would much prefer bringing them to Oregon rather than B.C. or Alaska.

Keep the wild steelhead population strong and you will keep me and my family traveling to Oregon. Kill them or flood the rivers with hatchery fish, and my money and I will invest elsewhere.

Stephen Kyle

Sonoma, California

Thinning helps

Recently, an ecologist wrote that fuel reduction in our forests is not the answer. Unfortunately he has left the reader with no solution as to what we should do with todays over stocked forests other than hardening homes and communities to resist blazes that inevitably will come.

There is a growing body of peer reviewed science as well as practical on the ground experiences that suggest thinning of all forested species followed by prescribed burning helps in catastrophic fire events more often than not.

Consider this quote from Pete Caligiuri, Oregon forest program director for The Nature Conservancy a National environmental group, which runs the research at the Sycan Marsh preserve that was directly in the path of the ongoing Bootleg fire, the nation’s largest.

“Generally speaking, what firefighters were reporting on the ground is that when the fire came into those areas that had been thinned ... it had significantly less impact.”

These findings as well as others closer to home like in the Sterling Creek area of the Applegate and the Ashland Forest Resiliency project add to a growing body of research about how to make wildfires less explosive by thinning undergrowth and allowing forests to burn periodically.

Blair Moody, fellow, presidential gield forester, Society of American Foresters