Letters to the Editor

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FORESTS: Protections aren’t endangered

Letter by Patricia B. Case, Union on May 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | 1 Comment »
May 13, 2011 2:09 pm

Re: “Timber industry shouldn’t take advantage of a bad situation” (Viewpoint, 5-11).

If only the choices were so simple. I work in the timber industry. My husband is, like the author, a middle school teacher. We are both extremely fortunate to have employment in these difficult times.

We both see shameless examples of waste in government. I daresay Shandra Crosby can point to a few examples in her own school district. That’s why forest landowners have been working with legislators to craft a law that will streamline operations, similar to what we do when our household budgets are strained.

That does not mean less regulation, nor does it mean we will do with less environmental protection. In fact, Washington has the toughest forest practices regulations in the world, including a statewide Habitat Conservation Plan that protects 60,000 miles of streams on 9 million acres of forestland.

Some 20 percent of working forests are set aside – in perpetuity – for protection of fish, wildlife and clean water. Think about that figure in the context of your own backyard. Still say we aren’t sacrificing?

Just as teachers must work more efficiently with parents, administrators and students to achieve better educational outcomes, we must work cooperatively with state agencies, tribes and other stakeholders to ensure continued protection on the ground.

I don’t envy state legislators for the tough decisions they are making this year, but I want Crosby, and others, to know that we are doing our part. That’s the Washington way.

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