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Letters to the editor

No 'gifts' should be allowed

The editorial in Thursday's Mail Tribune hit the nail right on the head.

Lobbyists are out to bribe legislators. Period. Whoops, I mean give them gifts.

The laws need to be changed. But then again, aren't the ones changing our laws the ones that benefit from taking the gifts?

It's called conflict of interest. Bribes ' I mean gifts ' should not be allowed. Period. ' Chuck Brook, Medford

Avoid archaic practices

The U.S. Forest Service could serve citizens by thinning dense, fire-suppressed forests that might benefit from some management. Unfortunately, they continue to wade into controversial activities while bucking the best available science.

Their plan to ignore credible post-fire science and log roadless areas is extremely arrogant. An old dog that can't learn a new trick, the Forest Service relies on archaic behavior that no longer helps but rather harms the environment ' too bad they operate free of legitimate accountability. We can thank Senators Wyden and Smith and Congressman Walden for that.

— The post-fire logging planned for the Biscuit fire will have deleterious impacts on publicly owned soil, water and wildlife. The logging will profit a few large timber companies, allowing them to pay politicians for past and future support. Meanwhile local communities and small resource-dependent families will watch their recreation and tourism dollars get swept downstream with the soil. ' Derek Volkart, Ashland

The right company?

Recent news stories about Lithia Motors have me questioning if they are the type of company that should dominate downtown Medford in the proposed Middleford Commons project.

In the March 10 Mail Tribune it was reported that Lithia Motors in Oregon City settled a lawsuit due to a hostile work environment for an Iranian car salesman. On March 13, it was reported that Lithia in Aurora, Colo., is to pay a settlement in a discrimination case involving three black employees. In February, reports stated Lithia revenue goes up 10 percent, net earnings rise 16.7 percent and on March 12 we learned that Sid DeBoer is one of the 50 highest-paid chief executive officers of public companies in Oregon.

So, if I understand this correctly, Lithia profits while their employees suffer and DeBoer laughs all the way to the bank. Are these people really who we want representing downtown Medford? I don't think so. ' J. Reed, Talent

Targeted for logging

The forests of the Illinois River Valley are targeted by the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service for logging. The 28,000-plus forested acres targeted for logging by BLM in the Illinois River Valley are some of Oregon's last remaining low-elevation old-growth forests.

As though the logging threats from BLM facing our valley were not enough, the Siskiyou National Forest has recently announced their plans to log inventoried roadless areas. One of the proposed roadless areas happens to be Mike's Gulch, which is completely visible from our valley's main corridor, Highway 199.

The valley forests and adjacent hillsides provide important wildlife habitat and connectivity for species migrating to and from the East and West Siskiyous, and lower elevation forests host greater biodiversity than way up in the mountains. These forests are the very watersheds from which our source of clean water springs forth.

The interior valley and adjacent hillside forests of the Illinois River Valley are our viewshed. People come from near and far to recreate in these magnificent forests. Our forests are the very reason for our ever-increasing nature-based tourism that the Illinois River Valley has to offer for future generations. ' Lisa Rohde, Selma