Democracy and public lands

With so many wackily dangerous actions radiating out of Washington, D.C., and consuming the news media, it is timely to remember what a democracy means, reflecting the will of all the people, not just the powerful.

We need representatives in government who, as Jerry Nutter wrote in his guest opinion May 16, “... halt(s) the sell-off of our commons, our natural resources, our airwaves, to be exploited by the highest bidders.” We are especially fortunate here in Southern Oregon for the precious natural resource of our public lands that make this such a healthy, vibrant “hot spot” of life, with incredible diversity of plants and animals and recreational opportunities for all.

We know that the current administration wants to “review” the status of all national monuments over 100,000 acres created since 1996. This makes it more important than ever that we exercise our rights as citizens to defend what we hold so dear, especially our unique, expanded Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

We all know the drill: Call, write your elected representatives, communicate with all your friends and relatives and try not to succumb to burnout. Fortunately, we can rejuvenate and restore ourselves hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, camping, bicycling and even just resting, on our extraordinary public lands — for now.

Bonnie Johnson

Ashland

Sherman County oversteps

Sherman County, Oregon, is threatening to spray an 18-year-old, 2,000-acre organic farm with toxic chemicals and then put a lien on the farm to pay for it.

Sherman County decided they could attack this farm by misinterpreting a statute that requires landowners to control weeds. Of course, organic farms do control weeds, they just don't use toxic chemicals to do it. So someone in the Sherman County government decided they could pretend that their statute means something else, like everyone has to spray their property with chemicals on the mistaken theory that that will ensure that no weeds will grow at all.

Just do a search on “superweeds” to see how that actually works out. Please call Sherman County at 541-565-3416 and tell them you don't want them to destroy a legitimate business by re-interpreting the law, and whatever else you want to add. Search for “Oregon County mandates 2,000-acre organic farm sprayed with chemical herbicides” to read more about this. Spread this on social media. Protect our right to safe food.

Eli Dumitru

Medford