To the Editor:

Gosh, it’s so quiet at my place that you can hear a pin drop. It would sure be nice if you could hear a log truck go by the house once in awhile, putting food on someone’s table and helping our schools and community and our economy while salvaging our forest that is going to waste.

I went to Pilot Rock last weekend, and was amazed at the amount of logs that were stacked around the mill there. There were mountains of them. My oldest son, Rick, is a contractor for oversize timber falling down at Lakeview. They are logging up a storm in the Fremont National Forest with the logs going to the old Fremont Sawmill owned now by Collins Pine. What are we doing here? Virtually nothing!

After all, this is the Malheur National Forest, where the Sierra Club says, “Thou shall allow thy timber to fall down and go to waste.” You can put in new toilets that aren’t needed, and things like cement picnic tables – and oh yes, let’s not forget the parking lots where the asphalt is six inches thick for a dozen cars a year, but heaven forbid that you take a commercial tree, salvage or otherwise. Are we nothing but a recreational forest now? We can’t survive that way.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the thousands of acres that have been destroyed by those beautiful white moths that were here by the millions this summer. Take a drive out to Jackknife Flat and Rock Springs. (Excuse me, it’s Rock Pile now. The Forest Service took out the spring. Why? I don’t know.) And take a look at the thousands of trees that are now nothing but skeletons, some saw logs, if they are gotten soon enough, and a lot of small material.

We have a new pellet mill, a co-gen plant in Prairie City that needs hog fuel and a couple of very deserving post and pole plants that have starved for small log material for several years now. The pellet mill is supposed to create 15 new jobs. I’ll bet if these post and pole mills had a chance at some of this material, they could do the same thing with the mill capacity that the county has; the saw logs certainly wouldn’t go to waste.

How about this scenario: Pilot Rock, Lakeview and then, do you suppose, John Day? It wouldn’t take too much effort to get us out of the twilight zone, but we do need cooperation.

Dean Elliott

Canyon City 

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