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Letters to the editor

Ashcroft will be monitoring

White House lawyers declare Bush can attack Iraq without congressional approval! Are these guys constitutional lawyers or former shredders from Enron, Halliburton and Harken? This appointed president and cohorts act like this country is their empire, not a democracy.

War protesters, please continue to express your indignation to our elected representatives, not just local ones, but national, and also the appointed one. But hurry, John Ashcroft will be monitoring us. ' Ruth Carson, Medford

This is 'their' president

Your Aug. 27 editorial (Whose visit?) perfectly sums up the whirlwind visit by the president. He came to speak to, be seen by, proclaim policy for, collect money from, and help elect Republicans. The rest of us were redundant.

We used to speak of our president. Clearly, this is their president.' Isaac Walker, Ashland

Show more compassion

I read in the Mail Tribune that the city of Medford doesn't have enough money to go around to repaint our crosswalks. I'd like to remind you that our City Council has agreed to give &

36;15 million to the Oregon Department of Transportation to tear out the south interchange and bring heavy traffic into our established neighborhoods and ruin easy access into Bear Creek Park.

The city has already spent millions on the north side and ruined several businesses. Those people who have confidence in our City Council and ODOT should have their businesses and neighborhoods ruined and then, I wonder, what they would say? I would hope that our City Council and ODOT would show more compassion and good common sense in their decision making. ' Barbara Miller, Medford

What information is he using?

If President Bush touted 100,000 jobs more logging on federal lands could bring to the Northwest that are now known to be nonexistent or to have already been filled (Mail Tribune, Aug. 27), one wonders what information source he's using that convinces him the United States must attack Iraq. ' Gwen McMahon, Ashland

Forest health is paramount

It was with great interest that I read Dave Hill's letter to the editor (July 19) challenging concerned parties to join in the discussion of logging our public land. My interest was piqued by Mr. Hill's assertion that forest health should be the driving factor in allocating the annual harvest across the federal forest landscape.

Headwaters emphatically agrees that forest health should be the driver of public land management. We believe that the primary purpose of federal land management should be to maintain and restore biological integrity. Such efforts should focus on restoring biological, physical and chemical processes and functions to ensure the long-term ecological sustainability of public land.

Commodity production, including timber, is a secondary benefit that should be authorized only when it does not impair the land's ecological integrity or hinder its recovery from damage caused by past management. Unfortunately for Mr. Hill, this takes the mature and old-growth trees, the most fire-resistant vegetation in the forest, off the chopping block.

If Mr. Hill truly believes forest health should drive management, he certainly will not want to support a guaranteed public land volume level. After all, land managers need to address the forest health on a site-specific basis. It would be short-sighted for a land manager to set an annual volume goal prior to analyzing whether or not such a cut promotes or damages the health of the forest.

If Mr. Hill agrees with that philosophy, we will have many productive conversations in the future. ' Derek Volkart, Ashland, conservation coordinator, Headwaters