Spotted Owls and Loggers
In your article Oregonians invite outsiders to their state to see “we aren’t about to cut down the last tree,” as one logging-industry worker’s quote put it.
I have been to Oregon. True, they will not cut down their last tree tomorrow or next week. But if they don’t start dealing with the reality environmentalists are helping them face, they will sooner or later.
So they are losing money today because they can’t cut down those magnificent old-growth trees--the few that remain? What happens after the temporary financial fix that would be provided by the “logging” of the remaining old growth? Then they will be in trouble with no one left to blame. Unless you love the sight of gray concrete more than green trees, you cannot help but finish a visit to Oregon with a broken heart, as you see hideous hillsides strewn with the leftovers of clear-cut logging, and gigantic trucks rumbling along the road brimming with the remains of massive trees that took hundreds of years to grow and just hours to cut down.
The struggle between saving our Earth and saving their bank accounts is only part of the issue. Your reporter did not point out the problem of Northwest logs going straight from forest to foreign country--closing down sawmills not because of a lack of log supply, but because the work is being done overseas. During my trip through Oregon a few months ago, I saw ships being packed full of logs headed to Japan. As someone pointed out in a local newspaper article I read at the time, it is virtually a “banana republic” practice, raping our resources for some other, more prosperous nation’s benefit.
One other note--the people who make their living at weapons plants might study what is happening in the Northwest and get a better jump on planning how to cope once their destructive profession no longer makes sense for our survival.