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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 6

The solution to everything

To the person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Similarly for some politicians, the only solution to social and economic problems is to lower taxes. To the Southern Oregon Timber Association, (guest opinion, Sunday, Dec. 14) the solution to everything is to cut more trees.

There is some truth to the claim that overly dense forests are a problem compared to healthy sparse forests. But to fail completely in a lengthy article on water, to acknowledge that the main cause for water shortages is human induced global warming requires ignoring science.

The article also omits anything about how our western forests are among the greatest carbon sink (storage) systems on the planet representing a major modulator of climate change effects. Forestry management considerations should be addressing what new commercial tree species will be appropriate to accommodate changes in regional climate, not just the reduction in existing tree density.

It is always surprising to those of us concerned about global warming's impact on natural, agricultural, and forestry systems to often find farmers and foresters missing from the front lines when it comes to promoting regional and national actions to address problems associated with climate change.

Ray Seidler, Ashland

Peace in the forest

Kudos to conservation groups and the timber industry for coming together to promote restoration forestry in Eastern Oregon. Unfortunately, many BLM timber sales here in Southern Oregon still call for logging big, old, fire-resilient trees, and almost all private industrial timber lands are managed in short clearcut rotations — both practices that increase fire hazard and harm forest health. In contrast, thinning the vast acreage of second-growth forests could provide economic and ecological benefits.

George Sexton, KS Wild, Ashland

Something is wrong

Congratulations to Jackson County for their new Health and Human Services building. Now they have one of the ugliest buildings in downtown Medford, with no access other than the back door, and with tiny windows facing onto Alba Park — no entrance or exit there. Plus an eight-story parking garage, the ugliest in town. Free parking subsidized by Jackson County, while we subsidize public transportation.

And recently the city of Medford razed a 100-year-old house and a nearly 100-year-old tree (10th and Oakdale) so as to build free parking for City Hall vehicles and employees, because the previous free parking will be removed for the new police station and — another parking garage.

An awful-looking downtown building, an ugly eight-story parking structure, and cutting down old trees and razing an old house to provide free parking. Something is wrong here.

Lawrence Andreas, Medford

LNG demonization

The liberal mindset can't be satisfied. The thinking defies logic.

For instance:

According to Wikipedia, LNG "could be considered the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, because it has the lowest CO2 emissions per unit of energy."

So what is the problem? Personally, I don't buy into the global warming/climate change hysteria, what with global temperatures flat for 17 years and Antarctic ice increasing. But hey, I can play along if it works for everyone.

My point being, here is an "environmentally friendly" natural fuel source, but everyone's in a tizzy about a pipeline, including this very paper, which is adding to the hysteria daily. Come on, MT editors, there is an upside to this situation. Then again, you guys aren't about fair and balanced, are you?

Another example is wind energy. Yes, wind turbines kill over 300,000 birds annually, compared to cats, which are estimated to be responsible for over 3 billion deaths annually. Oh, and nobody (that is, no California celebrity) wants those ugly things in their view.

For the sake of actual logic and reasoning, wherever you live, your house is displacing plants and animals, a fact we must all accept.

Rick Nelson, Medford

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 6