A few years ago, I visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time. I drove into the Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon's Coastal Range. Imagine my shock and dismay when on entering the forest I found nothing but stumps stretching as far as the eye could see.
In a pathetic attempt to disguise this, a thin screen of trees had been left standing along the roads, but the devastation beyond was obvious. I exited the national forest without ever having seen anything living up to the name. I cannot understand how such a disaster could befall this treasure we all own.
The author does us a tremendous disservice in blaming the recent rise in lumber prices on attempts to save the spotted owl. The culprit is the unsustainable level of forest cutting in our national forests during the Reagan years. Sure, we could lower lumber costs by cutting more lumber in Northwest forests for five or 10 more years. Then every national forest would look like the Siuslaw; just a sea of stumps. Martin Fuchs, Uxbridge, Mass.
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