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Hooray for prescribed burning

Kudos to the BLM for using prescribed fire on public forests (BLM slates prescribed burns for this spring, April 3)!

Fire is a fact of life in Southern Oregon ' has been for millennia ' and many of our forests are simply fire-starved. Far more prescribed fire is needed to restore and maintain our forests.

Programs that help respiratory patients obtain indoor air purifiers and prevent smoke inhalation on prescribed fire days should be a priority. ' Joseph Vaile, campaign director, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Ashland

Sadler should brace himself

Russell Sadler must brace himself for further assaults on his intellect and patriotism. His critics believe that if one argues that democratically effectuated and intelligently implemented land-use regulations are essential to a decent and rational society is to expose oneself as a communist or worse.

That Sadler has reason, logic and historical evidence on his side is not enough for such critics, nor is it enough to prevent the Sid Gasseration of Oregon. ' Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

Billboards are eyesores

In 1997, we embarked on a cross-country drive from California to Florida to see our beautiful country.

— We loved every minute of the trip until we got to Florida. A parade of huge billboards confronted us all along the highway. What a shame. Beware, Oregon. ' Joyce Poston, Central Point

Family made poor choices

First I would like to say that we are all very thankful that the family stuck in the snow was found unharmed. With that said I am not alone in feeling like this family took unnecessary chances with their lives. My husband and I take many road trips with a four-wheel drive pickup and camper, and if we encounter snow, we turn around immediately.

Why would someone in a motor home continue on? They made a ridiculous decision to continue on. I had heard that they were taking a shortcut to the ocean. Eden Valley is not a shortcut. We have traveled that direction before and it is definitely not the shortest way to the coast. It is, however, a beautiful drive in the summer.

Now because of the decisions that they made (poor ones) they are rewarded by movie offers and book deals not to mention our tax dollars used to rescue them. This only promotes others to make poor decisions in the future for a chance at their own fame. Should we ignore the fact that the parents are wanted in another state for drug and weapons charges? I think not. ' Janice Weitman, Medford

No trial needed

I just couldn't let the letter from of March 27 titled Bill the Stivers go by without comment. I say thank you for convicting and fining the Stivers (who are not accused of any crime anywhere) along with the parents. We can suspend with any trial and proceed directly to sentencing, saving even more money! Great idea. The writer should hope that she is never accused of a crime. ' George Pearson, Ashland

Keep air standards

There is a madness in the land. The EPA is proposing to relax air pollution rules at a time when health care costs are spiraling out of control.

It is important for citizens to realize that the biggest threat to your life is not from a terrorist from Iraq or Afghanistan, but from your neighbor with the burning leaf pile. The effect is not so immediate as a bomb, but in the long run equally deadly, and probably accompanied by much more pain and agony. It particularly affects older people whose organs cannot so easily repair the damage created by these airborne poisons. I thought we were trying to attract retirees to our community.

Pollutants, particularly small smoke particles, cause cancer and other lung diseases. We should be increasing the areas where open burning is prohibited and the air continuously monitored, not relaxing standards and monitoring. It is not just a Medford problem. Beautiful spring mornings in the Evans Valley and Grants Pass are often marred with the deadly byproducts of open burning.

Please let your county commissioners know that clean air is a fundamental human right that we expect them to defend. ' Marc Heritage, Rogue River

Police action, not war

Thank you, Mail Tribune, for publishing David Kennedy's opinions (March 23). Now, would you please start calling our activities in Iraq a police action, instead of the war. We didn't declare war. ' Don Kleinhesselink, Medford