As has now been announced by Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. (OPRD) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the 80-acre parcel comprising the developed portion of the [Illinois River] Forks State Park will now be removed from the State Park system and all development removed. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category
There you have it. The biggest problem this county has ever had. Since the early 70s and still today, all I’ve ever heard is “Me, me, me, me, I, I, I …”
They still can’t quit fighting among themselves. No wonder they can’t [get] it right.
If I were commissioner, it would be very simple. If something come up for a vote, vote in behalf of the voter public. Not for yourselfs. This is not your county, (commissioners). It belongs to the people who vote and pay your salaries with their tax dollars. And not some special group like the government bureaucrat’s pocket.
I sat in on a commissioners’ meeting where they voted to give $30,000 of our tax dollars to a government hunter to cut the cougar and bear population down. And to hunt with dogs. We can’t hunt with dogs. What a hoot! Do you get it? We are paying to do something that we are very capable of doing and have been since forever. Give cougar and bear hunters a tag for even $5/tag and they would probably earn more than 30K. And we wouldn’t waste the meat, either.
The sheriff’s budget … vote it in and when received, give all of it to the sheriff. Quit treating the sheriff like he’s some kid on an allowance, and still in grade school. Let the sheriff be accountable for the money, not the commissioners.
We really don’t need three parents in the there. We really need three responsible adults fighting for our county tax payers. By the way, isn’t that what they were hired for?
If I were commissioner, here’s wheat it would be like. Without breaking the law nor supporting some special deep pocket groups digging after some of our hard-earned tax money, the question of spending would be simply: What does the tax-paying voters want? See how easy it would be? Give it to them! It’s their’s anyway! You are employeres, not employer. You’re being paid to do what they want. Not what you want. Why create more problems than we already have.
Maybe I will run this time. There’s one thing I will not put up with: the smoke and mirrors I’ve seen over the years.
How about this for starters? Want to raise some revenue? Get rid of all that vacant property that the county owns. It’s laying dead, not helping anyone nor anything. It could very well bring big bucks to the table. And if we need to change the so-called charter? Then do it!
Why are they choosing to to make things more difficult than what it really is? Get ‘er done. Then move on.
To be honest with you, I’m liking the state of Jefferson more and more when I hear of the bickering going on in the courthouse.
Let who ever wants Ellis’ seat go before Hare and Cassanelli, go through the process, take a vote in behalf of the people and be done with it. It’s temporary only. Let’s move on. You’re acting like beginners not like adults. What a waste of precious time in a wonderful county.
Last call — quit fighting.
From Ken LeGaux, Selma
(Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Illinois Valley Media LLC or ivdailyview.com, its advertisers or affiliates.)
I personally contributed to and campaigned for Simon Hare.
After Hare took office, I had several personal discussions with him where he made it perfectly clear he has a pure hatred for Cassanelli. Hare’s exact words were “I can’t stand that woman!” Read the rest of this entry »
To the Editor:
On a recent visit for lab tests I had a nice conversation with the RN and the topic of living in Cave Junction came up. She said that she and her family had gone to the Coast over the 4th of July and had noticed how nice Cave Junction looked.
As concerned citizens, my husband and I briefly attended the open house session with ODOT regarding the proposed highway changes in Cave Junction. We had heard rumors of huge barriers going through downtown and wanted to find out for ourselves what was planned. As usual, the rumors were totally blown out of proportion. Read the rest of this entry »
To the Editor,
I read with interest, and some concern, Commissioner Cassanelli’s recent guest opinion, and the perception set forth regarding the county relationship with Southern Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI). In my opinion, the commissioner omitted some very important context of the good work SOREDI has performed in Josephine County and southern Oregon in general. I have some personal experience to share on behalf of SOREDI. Read the rest of this entry »
To the Editor,
From David Bianco; Selma, Oregon
On Jan. 20 Perpetua Forests Company filed notice with the Oregon Dept. of Forestry that they intend to use White City-based Pacific Air Research to perform the herbicide spraying. The area that the treatment is intended to occur on is located on the eastern flank of the McMullin Creek valley over a clear-cut area that is visible from Lake Selmac Park and located mostly within a half mile distance from the lake.
The clear-cut area covers roughly 70 acres of hillside that directly feeds a small creek tributary that drains across the Flying B Bar Ranch, and eventually feeds into McMullin Creek which is the main watershed feeder into Lake Selmac. At the closest point, the clear-cut to be sprayed is only 2500 feet from the Lake, and maybe only 1500 feet from Lake Selmac Park Boundary. In addition, the Flying B Bar Ranch operates a rose farm, and a natural grass-fed livestock ranch on the valley floor directly adjacent to the proposed site.
Recent reports have evidenced that aerial spraying of herbicides even on a still day can travel from 1 – 4 miles due to the air turbulence caused by the helicopter aircraft that are used to perform the spraying. In this case, Perpetua has notified the ODF that they intend to spray alone or a combination of three herbicides, Hexazinone, Clopyrelid, and Atrazine. All three of these chemicals have explicit stated toxicity to aquatic organisms. Atrazine has already been banned by the European Union.
Concerned McMullin Creek residents became aware of the intention only through a distribution of information made available through the ODF. I am one of the closest property owners. As owner of the Flying B Bar Ranch, I am concerned for the safety of my 3,000 garden grown rose bushes which are the backbone of my preserved flower business. I have attempted to get senior management at Perpetua to use any methods that don’t involve herbicides on the clear-cut. However, at this time Jennifer Phillippi, president of Perpetua, has not been willing to make such a commitment. I feel that not only could the herbicides being sprayed cause mist drift that could kill my rose bushes, but that even if Perpetua was to block all runoff of water from the clear-cut, or even spray with ground-based equipment, all that water containing the herbicides would contaminate the aquifer that feeds my wells that are used to water not just the roses, but the fields of grass harvested to feed more than 80 head of livestock.
It is quite possible that this single act could endanger our entire operation here. We also have concern for my in-law’s health. My father-in-law, John Brown, has substantial lung issues due to an industrial fire suppression accident earlier in life. John has issues whenever they start burning slash piles and fears that the herbicide mist from a spray occurring only 1000 feet from his residence may substantially affect his breathing in a permanent way. Then there is the consideration of the fish population in Lake Selmac, along with the associated insect populations which are also affected by the proposed herbicides which feed the fish. It seems quite a chance to be taking with one of Josephine County’s premier parks for fishing recreation.
This is not the first time that this kind of situation has occurred in Selma. Other residents of the town have expended substantial resources with little results on other herbicide spraying situations. The practice of using herbicides to entirely destroy all competitive flora to conifer plantings has become commonplace in modern forestry management practice. The fact is that “forestry” is really a misnomer in this day in age, as a forest is a bio-diverse ecology that creates a balance between many species of flora and fauna. Current purported “forestry” practice is to try to bypass decades of natural forest succession to create exclusively conifer farms at the cost of animal habitats, soil nutrient depletion, soil stability, and other ecological and environmental imbalances. Essentially, “forestry” has become “conifer farm management”, what are essentially two different sciences.
One difficulty is that Jennifer Phillippi, one of the owners of Perpetua Forests Co, sits on the Oregon Department of Forestry Board, the board which by the ODF organization chart is placed at the top of their organizational structure. It’s a bit like putting the fox in the henhouse as a member of “Poultry Security Committee”, having a member of the board being the owner of a company doing conifer farming on their private lands in Southern Oregon.
This leads to a second issue. The ODF has little control over such actions on private logging company properties. There is currently only a “notice” that is filed with ODF. Such sprayings do not require an application process which allows for public opinions and objections to be filed and reviewed by the ODF prior to such operations being started by logging companies on their own land. This is true even if the properties in question are the watersheds for county and state owned parks and forests. Further, people are only notified if they purchase a subscription to such notices at the cost of $5 per land section with a minimum of 5 subscriptions.
It is hoped by bringing this situation the public’s awareness, and through public outcry that Perpetua may be convinced not to aerially spray herbicide, or any other herbicide related activity on their clear-cuts on the McMullin Creek valley. Though the residents of McMullin Creek valley are hopeful, the two issues above lead them to believe that the situation is likely hopeless without more people taking issue.
Unfortunately Greg Walden and the other commissioners along with Industry, the Oregon Board of Forestry and some management agencies doesn’t seem to take into account some basic facts and contradictions. Returning to the overcutting of the past will not help either.
There is nothing sustainable about industrial clear-cut forestry — not environmentally, not economically and not socially. It represents the ultimate short boom, then results in generations of busted environments, economics and society — the greatest good for fewest numbers for the shortest time.
Here are some facts:
Environmentally, the industrial model takes a highly interdependent and diverse ecosystem and converts it into a plantation of uniform structure and age class. The rationale is to speed up the growth in Douglas fir.
The litany of unintended consequences from invasive species, disease and insect infestations, soil erosion, overcrowded fire-prone stands, and short-boom long-bust all follow in the wake of our industrial “management” practices. They sacrifice ecosystem services, forest quality and structural integrity for faster growth without understanding the consequences.
Unintended consequences like the serious liabilities of man-made products, from out-gassing affecting indoor air quality to failing in under 10 minutes in a house fire (oriented strandboard floor joists and rafters) all point to the lessons we must learn regarding the industrial model and unintended consequences.
This is a structural disconnect embedded in incomplete analysis and our singular focus on short-term profits. This disconnect drives us further away from holistic and life-cycle cost analysis — thus our problems magnify; environmental degradation and economic short-boom, long-bust with societal implications following behind.
In a matter of days we can level a stand of ancient trees that took hundreds of years to evolve into the dynamic and interdependent ecosystems that an intact forest embodies.
Then our forest scientists ask, “How do we create structural diversity in a plantation?” without noticing that diversity was destroyed in converting a forest to a plantation in the first place.
If this represents science, then morality, social relevance, ethics and common sense have been thrown out the window. If we, our scientists and our land managers were smart enough to understand all these restoration costs and hold funds in escrow to cover their eventual costs, we might learn the lessons of past management. However, when we disconnect these costs and liabilities from past choices, the restoration costs soar, the environment, our economics and our society suffers, and future generations will curse us.
To be fair, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have responded to the science of endangered and threatened species and the over cutting prior to 1990, and have dramatically lowered their cut. The Oregon Board of Forestry runs counter to that trend, clear-cutting an average of six or seven times what the federal agencies combined cut between 2001 and 2007. To give context, the Forest Service and BLM represent 60 percent of Oregon’s forests; the state forests 3 percent.
State officials say they work under the mandate of providing the “greatest permanent value” from state lands, which for them means increased liquidation of the forests. They don’t seem to understand the concept of short-term boom and long-term bust, even when the evidence is overwhelming.
On private lands, the Forest Practices Act is marginal at best. It uses many of the right words, but actions speak louder. Last year I gathered information regarding the decade of clear- cutting up Quartz Creek off the McKenzie River. Between 400 and 500 designations of high risk areas, high risk sites and northern spotted owl sites were identified in their Forest Activity Computerized Tracking System, or FACTS, program. Those designations meant nothing to the loggers and timber companies. Take a look at Quartz Creek due south of Finn Rock on Google Earth and you can see for yourself the Forest Practices Act at work.
There is one alternative voice on the Board of Forestry, Peter Hayes. It’s time to support his voice and redefine “greatest permanent value” that includes future generations and not just short-term profits.
Past forestry management isn’t a model to emulate if we have concern for the environment or for our kids and grand kids. The jury is in if our eyes see holistically.
Craig Patterson, McKenzie Bridge, Ore.