Forest Resiliency Project comes from collaboration; In this heat, don't forget to water the hippies' dogs

Forest Resiliency Project comes from collaboration

The June 22 edition of the Daily Tidings included a guest commentary by Ashland City Councilman Eric Navickas, titled "Time for a new policy on fuels reduction in the watershed," in which he criticized the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project. He accused the U.S. Forest Service of ignoring sound stewardship while dismissing the insights of an enlightened community in the agency's pursuit of a flawed forest management alternative reminiscent of old style politics.

In fact, for the past decade, Ashland District Ranger Linda Duffy has worked tirelessly to collaborate with the community of Ashland and interested parties to craft a management alternative acceptable to all.

In that spirit of collaboration, Ms. Duffy and the Forest Leadership Team welcomed a proposal by the city of Ashland to submit an alternative plan. Mr. Navickas was one of the authors of that plan. It took Mr. Navickas and the city a year or more to complete their proposal; but it is that environmental alternative, with minor changes adopted by the Forest Service, that was adopted by Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy as the preferred alternative. And it is the city's alternative plan that will finally be implemented as the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project, pending the release of funds from President Obama's administration.

The disingenuousness of Mr. Navickas' remarks cannot be ignored or allowed to stand uncontested.

John F. Owen

Ashland

In this heat, don't forget to water the hippies' dogs

Dear Hippies,

It's great to see you again this summer, livening up the Plaza and Lithia Park as your tribe comes back to town for rest, metaphysical reflection and juggling. And the past few days with the Mystic Garden Party out at Jackson Wellsprings have made Ashland particularly colorful. The Tidings reports that this may become a "destination festival." Thank you for that.

But as I write this (Monday late afternoon), it's 104 degrees by official figuring, and I'm worried about one thing that relates to your hanging out here. It's your dogs — those pooches who have no say about where you take them on your free-spirit journeying, no yard or couch or shady spot to call their own.

In the parking lot today at Shop'n Kart, I saw two big old black dogs of indeterminate lineage in pretty bad shape in the back of an even older pickup driven by a guy eager to introduce me to something called "The Rainbow Bridge to Peace on Earth." That's fine. Who can be against rainbow bridges and peace?

But I took it upon myself to suggest that the dogs needed something a little more practical and a little more immediate, like water. So we poured some into a plastic bowl, and the two old pooches lapped it up noisily (and, I like to think, gratefully). Then the two guys in the pickup with the two dogs in the back (what used to be called an Idaho double date), drove out of the blistering parking lot at Shop'n Kart. I had suggested that they head out to Emigrant Lake where the dogs could cool off and take a break from the back of the truck. But I don't think that happened. The guys had peace and rainbow bridges to promote.

So when you see these traveling dogs around town, hot and tired and maybe a little ratty looking, think kindly of them. Maybe bring them some water.

Brad Knickerbocker

Ashland