Editorial from The Mountain Times
Wildlife and Recreation Vs. Logging
by Larry Berteau
View the original article here.
The Mt. Hood National Forest (MHNF) is planting a mistaken footprint on our Mountain.
A shift is now required from focusing land management for logging, to watershed health, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.
The good work of the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is at stake. The council’s diligent preservation of our rivers and side channels – including the removal of invasive species that entangle our natural environment – is being eroded. Our plants and wildlife simply must be protected at all costs.
By focusing on maintaining and rebuilding logging roads, the roads leading to campgrounds and trailheads are being sacrificed. In difficult economic times – which the MHNF suffers from as well – it should be noted that our local community has changed. In Oregon, the outdoor recreation industry employs more than 140,000 people, while logging and wood-product manufacturing provides fewer than 30,000 jobs.
Creative solutions, such as road-to-trail conversions, have long-term positive impacts for recreation visitors and the economy and ecology of the Mt. Hood National Forest, as Russ Plaeger, of Bark and formerly of the watershed council, pointed out in his letter to Lisa Northrop, forest supervisor of MHNF.
If all that sounds too complicated, just refer to the math in paragraph four.
We applaud the efforts of Plaeger, and those Mountain stalwarts that co-signed his letter to MHNF: Christy Slovacek of Christy Slovacek Music Studio; Tom and Sonya Butler of Mountain Sports; Don Mench, chairman of Mt. Hood Stewardship Council; Andreanne Rode of Otto’s Ski Shop; Amber Spears of Sissy Mama’s Bistro; Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker of the Skyway Bar & Grill; Hidee and Ryan Cummings of Wraptitude Restaurant; and Brenda Taylor of Zig Zag Zen Chiropractic & Yoga Studio.