The Oregonian (Letters to the Editor)

Bill will plunder natural heritage


As former U.S. representatives, we believe The Oregonian does truth a disservice by applauding the deceptively named "Healthy Forests" bill, which is plunder of our natural heritage disguised as fire prevention ("At last, a fire bill," Nov. 22).

With environmental laws and judicial review diminished and timber interests paid off, many of our last wild forests and their biodiversity will be doomed.

Fortunately, an extraordinary national forest management bill, the Act to Save America's Forests, would properly balance protection and sustainable use. Previously cosponsored by more than 140 members of the U.S. Senate and House, including Oregon's former Rep. Elizabeth Furse, the act is endorsed by more than 600 leading scientists, including Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson.

A culmination of science, popular will and common sense, the act would accomplish what Americans demand -- end clear-cutting and fully protect roadless and ancient forests and native species, while allowing ecologically sustainable logging of second-growth stands.

The Act to Save America's Forests provides an aptly named and honest antidote to the fire bill fraud.