Old growth is not the issue with timber sales

Old growth is not the issue with timber sales

Any forester can tell you that old growth around here is not defined by diameter, so a tree larger than 30 inches may or may not be old growth. The Environmental Assessment for the Rio Climax timber sale states to "not harvest old growth" and describes the physical characteristics of trees as indicators that a tree may be old growth (the EA is online at www.blm.gov/or/districts/medford). Perhaps George Sexton will provide the data to show that the 174 trees of the Rio Timber Sales are old growth.

Ashland's timber sales are not "stuck in the past", but governed by the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, not a mythical plan of the 1950's alluded to by Sexton. The plan does not prohibit the harvesting of old growth.

Finally, the average diameter of the Ashland Resource Area's last 11 sales, which includes the sales targeted by the lawsuits, is 14.5 inches. The Vine Maple sale, which Sexton heartily supports, has an average diameter of 15.9 inches (the Prospectus is online at www.blm.gov/or/districts/medford).

The issue is obviously not old growth, but a personal desire for a different timber management philosophy.

John Gerritsma

Central Point

Summer Reading Program was a success

The Ashland library recently completed a very successful Summer Reading Program. Over 480 children up to er years old signed up for the program, and 290 completed it. Children in Ashland read or listened to over 7,000 books!

These kids will be ready to learn this fall. The Friends of the Ashland Library sponsored a variety of fun and educational programs for our children and also purchased many of the decorations and prizes for Summer Reading. Children ages 3-12 who completed the Summer Reading program in Ashland received a free book, coupons from HomeTown Buffet, Kid Time, a reading certificate, and a bookmark. Twelve grand prize winners received special gift books and gift certificates from Sun Stone Bakery or Tree House Books, and one lucky winner received a four-person tent courtesy of a local donor and The Ashland Outdoor Store.

Thanks to the Friends of Ashland Library, Tree House Books, Sun Stone Bakery, Ashland Outdoor Store, Papa Murphy's Pizza, HomeTown Buffet and Kid Time. We honestly could not run such a successful and fun Summer Reading Program without your support!

Margie Cicerrella, children's librarian

Ashland Library

Romney, Ryan plan rejects science

In his speech, Mitt Romney mocked Barack Obama for his desire to control rising sea level and save the planet. Romney implied that he cared less about saving the planet than creating jobs.

In reporting this, satirist Stephen Colbert wondered how many of his audience live on the planet. He then suggested maybe trying to maintain a livable planet was not such a bad goal.

Obviously, jobs are important — as Barack Obama has stressed in policies thwarted at every turn by Congressional Republicans — but it is equally critical to realize that without a livable planet, all the jobs and money in the world do little good. Besides, potentially there are more jobs in new energy industries than old.

Rejecting science, the Romney-Ryan Republican plan ignores human-induced climate change that has already caused havoc. Romney should ask farmers losing crops to drought how they feel about climate change.

Christine C. Menefee