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Letters to the Editor, July 15

Threat from nickel mines

Have you ever smelled the vanilla-pineapple essence of a Jeffrey pine tree? You will never forget it. Fond of serpentine soil, the Jeffrey thrives along river banks in Oregon’s Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The Kalmiopsis is one of my most cherished wild places; it contains pristine wild rivers and diverse and rare plant life — unparalleled in the West, but it’s threatened by industrial strip mining.

Two foreign mining companies want to develop three nickel strip mines across thousands of acres of national forest and BLM land. Damage from nickel mining on these public lands will be irreversible and severe. Amazingly, the foreign investors would be beneficiaries of this mining of public lands. The stakes for Oregonians include: toxic waste, toxic water pollution, fish and other wildlife and habitat destruction, the release of carcinogenic asbestos and the elimination of healthy fishing and recreational opportunities.

Want to help protect Kalmiopsis creeks and rivers from foreign mining? Just write or call your congressmen and tell them to protect our precious lands from foreign mining or submit a public comment on: kalmiopsiswildrivers.org.

Susan Roudebush

Ashland

It is the climate

You’ve seen the sign over Grants Pass: “It’s The Climate.” Much of what we cherish in the Rogue Basin is, indeed, a function of our climate. From Crater Lake to Gold Beach, our wineries, rivers, agriculture, and forests exist because of our climate. But the climate is changing in ways that threaten them.

“Our Critical Climate: Trends, Impacts & Solutions — A Rogue Basin Summit” is scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14 for Inn at the Commons (www.socanclimatesummit.info) in Medford. Organized by Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, the event will initially explore the climate trends we have been experiencing and expectations for our climate future. This will be followed by discussion of basin-wide problems caused by these trends and what is being done to overcome them. Finally we will develop and initiate further actions to overcome the problems and reduce our contributions to them.

Keynote speakers will be Dr. Phil Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Mary Wood from University of Oregon law school and Our Children’s Trust; and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy.

Basin residents might consider learning about the trends and their impacts, and what we can do. The early-bird registration deadline is today, July 15: visit the website.

Alan Journet, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Jacksonville

Moral code of men

I read with little interest the opinion on religious objections to civil law. Correct me if I am mistaken, but the Declaration of Independence declares that all rights are not man-given but God-given rights.

For the courts to sustain their argument that gay marriage is a right given by God, they must overcome the prohibition against it proclaimed by God in the Bible. The court can argue this is a man-given right, but then they destroy the fabric of our Declaration of Independence that all rights are founded on a higher authority than men. To do this carries us back to the divine right of kings to make laws and subject men to the authority of men only.

And this is just what the Supreme Court of the land has done. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution now hang by a thread. One more decision such as the right of gays to marry will cut that thread. We will then be governed by the moral code of men, which is what the War of Independence was waged against in the first place.

I for one stand with God, not men.

Gale F. Trapp

Medford

Letters to the Editor, July 15