We Need To Take Forest Conditions Seriously

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Editor:

Congratulations on the editorial "What do wood piles and silence of the birds have in common?" in the April 11, 2008 Roundup. I hope that this is the beginning of a sincere interest in the National Forests of the west, and their deplorable condition.

Those of us who have been working on this problem for the last 15 years need all the informed assistance we can get.

To start with, you say, "we created the problem by turning the forest into a tree farm without understanding the consequences." This is not what happened.

No one, who was ever officially in charge of the National Forests was stupid enough to let the forests degenerate into their present condition because they thought that was the proper way to manage the forests.

The Forest Service, to its credit, tried to continue issuing cutting permits as the federal courts took over management of the National Forests in the 1980s. However, as fast as permits were issued, the "professional" environmentalists filed lawsuit after lawsuit claiming that various federal laws had not been properly complied with.

Finally, all the commercial wood using operations in Arizona (including the Whiting/Kaibab sawmill in Payson) closed, for lack of wood.

Tommie Martin has been working on this problem for years, and most particularly during her term as county supervisor. I would suggest that you talk with her, as to what she has been trying to do, and why she has so little success.

Dan Adams

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