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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 6

Wolves reduce game

Many have followed the wanderings of wolf OR-7 and the establishment of a pack in the south Cascades. Now another pack seems imminent between Highway 66 and the Klamath River. This makes some people happy, because wolves are like a religion to them.

Wolves were introduced in Yellowstone around 1992, and have spread across many states and into Oregon. While wolf lovers and wolf biologists rejoice, ranchers and sportsmen don't. Yellowstone has experienced a 50 percent reduction in elk, deer and bighorn sheep. Public funds go to livestock kill reimbursement in several areas.

Not only will ranchers be impacted in Oregon, but sportsmen as well. License fees and taxes that benefit all wildlife will experience an inevitable reduction as Oregon's ungulate herds become wolf victims. Hunters will tell you that present numbers of deer and elk are insufficient to allow enough harvest tags to meet public demand. Just wait until the current and future wolf packs make their effect felt, by reducing our big game ungulates to 50 percent of current populations.

Don Skillman, Talent

What are they smoking?

So Jackson County commissioners are spending $100,000 (of our tax money) to hold a special March election in the hopes of authorizing additional County taxes on newly-legalized marijuana (Feb. 1 front page).

This in spite of the fact that Measure 91 specifically prohibits any entity other than the state from taxing marijuana. And in spite of the fact an election is already scheduled for May 19.

So not only will we humble taxpayers get to pay for this special election, we will also almost certainly pay to defend or battle this issue in court.

A reason cited for county taxes is county law enforcement costs. But where is mention of reduction in law enforcement costs? Wasn't that a large part of the reason for legalization?

I don't use marijuana. But I would like to know what the county commissioners are smoking.

I am disgusted with all of them.

Sally Schott, Medford

Beware the pipeline

Oregonians arise. Wake up. Forget Keystone XL. Beware, fear Jordan Cove natural gas pipeline. A multi-billion dollar Canadian company, Veresen, plans to clearcut a 50-yard wide and 240-mile swath from Klamath Falls to Coos Bay. 

Try to imagine how ugly and environmentally disgusting this will be. Where the pipeline cuts through Shady Cove and under the Rogue River, there are Oregon property owners who o not want a clearcut swath through their property. They refuse to sell.

Veresen is planning on going to court using eminent domain to forcibly seize these private properties. This legal doctrine is meant to seize private land for the common good; however, it's ludicrous and illegal to take land belonging to citizens in the name of profit. How is it possible to let a foreign company come in and rape our state and take property and leave a 240-mile swath of clearcut in its wake?

They claim this will create lots of jobs. Lies! How many Oregonians are part of a pipeline construction maintenance crew? They will use foreigners to clear the 240-mile swath. Many local people won't do that kind of work for minimum wage.

The bottom line is, if the jobs and benefits are so great, why isn't this pipeline and facility being built in Canada? No to this project and send Veresen home.

Chris Matthews, Cave Junction

A common cause

There was no doubt in anyone's minds at a packed DEQ meeting what the public consensus is on the Jordan Cove gas export project.

Over 350 Southern Oregonians crowded into the high school commons in Medford, waiting their turn to speak in defense of our waterways. Some waited all night and never had a chance to speak. I was one of those people, sitting on the hard floor listening to everyone before me speak eloquently, passionately, for the protection of our shared space.

What I realized in listening to many people express their anger and frustration about this project is that we must all work together towards this common cause.

Questions from the audience included concerns about erosion and temperature increase in the water due to clear cutting, dangers of frack outs underneath critical salmon spawning grounds, inevitable leaks throughout the 230-mile length of pipeline, and toxic contamination of land and water at the Coos Bay exit point. On top of these were questions on trampled property rights, cost of tourism jobs and fishing livelihoods.

We know that the DEQ and Army Corps of Engineers need us to help them fight Goliath. Together we can.

Hannah Kolni, Shady Cove

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 6