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In National Forests, What Use Is 'Wise Use'?

October 17, 1991



Could this be the great American talent for compromise at work? A cooperative effort of industry and environmental interests can develop a reasonable plan for resource management. Extremism and inflexibility are the biggest stumbling blocks.The small town I live in is completely dependent on the lumber mill. If the mill closes so does the town. It is hard to blame people for not caring much about an owl when their homes and jobs are at stake. However, the timber association in town considers its strength to be as "strong and silent as its clear cuts." The environmentalists definitely have valid concerns. The challenge is to develop a plan which will be valid 100 years from now. Logging, cattle, and mining are not going away. Neither is concern over waste, greed, and destruction of the land. Responsible compromise should be possible. What other choice is there? W. Baxter Vestal, Hayfork, Calif.

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