Thanks to Doubletree

Dear Editor:

A note of thanks and appreciation to the Sudak family of Doubletree Farm. It’s so fitting that this valley should have its own dairy. I know you worked for years to bring your dream to fruition and many of us are so very glad you didn’t give up on it. My husband and I started drinking it as soon as it became available at Hank’s Harvest Foods, and I have, and will continue to recommend this delicious liquid gold to whomever will listen.

Marie Storrs, Carlton

Animals have emotions

Dear Editor:

The doe was seen moving slowly toward her dead yearling. The yearling (probably born last spring) had died in my front yard along the river due to an injury from the highway. I had asked a friend to remove the body, which he did.

When I came home, I found that he had placed the body in the river below the bank. I didn’t realize this until I saw the eagles, magpies and crows sitting in the trees above her body. The doe has been hanging around for several days and stopping to stare at me as if to say, “What did you do to my baby?” This was over a week ago and the doe is still above the river looking down the bank at the yearling’s dead body. She actually tried to run off several eagles preying on the corpse.

Some people think animals do not have feelings or emotions. I have worked with animals all my life, raised and trained horses and colts, dogs, cats, kittens, and believe me, they do have emotions. They are as sensitive as we are in many ways. The doe is still chasing the eagles away from the torn and battered body of her offspring near the river.

Some people laugh at the idea that animals have emotions and can feel grief. The fact that this doe is still defending the body of her baby is proof that we all need to be award that animals can grieve and have feelings.

Jackie Iddings, Winthrop

 Support the Mission Project

Dear Editor:

Several assertions made by opponents of the Mission Forest Restoration Project in an article published in the Methow Valley News on March 8 are, in my opinion, misleading and deserve a response. 

The first assertion, made by Chris Frue, states that “commercial logging is the essential core of the Mission Restoration Project.” While a total of 1,952 acres of commercial thinning are proposed in the 50,200-acre project area, many more treatments are also proposed, including 8,304 acres of non-commercial thinning, 10,968 acres of prescribed fire, 468 acres of soil restoration, 23 culvert replacements, woody debris stream enhancement, beaver habitat enhancement, and the closing/decommissioning of many miles of roads. The project is far more than just a commercial timber sale and, in my opinion, will greatly benefit the ecosystems for a large number of wildlife species.

While I agree with Mr. Frue’s assertion that these treatments will probably not stop the massive fires during extreme fire weather, thinning and prescribed burning can decrease the likelihood that these massive fires will develop and make fires easier and safer to fight in areas near private lands. 

In the article, Jeff Juel opposes man-made restoration, stating that “ecosystems are largely defined by natural processes.” We have lots of areas around the Methow Valley where natural processes are allowed to occur, they are called wilderness. I agree natural processes are important; however, management practices over the past 100 years have caused conditions in our forests to be far from natural. The treatments proposed under the Mission Project will move forest conditions far closer to what they were like 100 years ago.

There will soon be more important battles to wage over the future of our forests than fighting a relatively benign timber/restoration project in a segment of our forest designated for timber management and protection against wildfires. My fear is that shutting down worthy projects like the Mission Project will cause a severe over-reaction from our current administration. Send a letter in support of the Mission Project to Michael Williams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Meg Trebon, Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 W. Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862.

Dave Hopkins, Twisp

Lack of concern

Dear Editor:

Our Congressional representative, Dan Newhouse, has made himself remarkably inaccessible to his constituents in the northern part of District 4, and to my knowledge the rest of the district as well. In spite of many attempts to get him to agree to a town hall meeting, he has chosen to avoid personal contact.

Why such reluctance? Is it perhaps because he puts ideology and corporate interests before the concerns of individuals? Let’s look at just a few important issues.

Mr. Newhouse is a cosponsor of House Joint Resolution 46. This bill would roll back National Park Service protections currently in place by allowing oil and gas drilling in our National Parks, in spite of the many surveys that show Americans strongly support park protections.

Mr. Newhouse supports Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare even though a large number of his constituents currently benefit from Obamacare and would suffer loss of coverage or unaffordable costs as a result. Just this past Monday (March 13), the Congressional Budget Office announced that the current Republican health care plan would raise the number of Americans without health insurance by 24 million within a decade.

Water quality in the Yakima Valley has been so seriously degraded by manure runoff from large industrial dairy farms that local residents are told not to bathe or shower with the water, much less drink it. What is Mr. Newhouse’s reaction to this problem? He is cosponsoring House Bill 848, which would further impede efforts to control water contamination from farm waste.

Mr. Newhouse has made clear his lack of concern over the health and well-being of his constituents. It is time to find electable candidate(s) who will replace Mr. Newhouse in 2018.

Kurt Snover, Winthrop

Make it work

Dear Editor:

Regarding the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I believe the congressional Republican majority (and congressional Democrats!) should be following one basic goal. That is: to provide good health care to Americans at the most affordable price possible. I would love to see positive collaboration in this direction rather than continuing to shout back and forth the tired ideological rhetoric so abundant in the health care debate.

There are certainly things that can and should be improved about the current legislation. However, it is another obvious case of fake news that the current proposal will lower costs, improve care delivery, and enhance the health of American adults and children.

Most of us are aware that creating a pool of payers to share the cost of something society needs and wants is the way health insurance, police protection, unemployment benefits and forest fire response (to name a few) works all around the world. It is not realistic to expect only sick people to pay for insurance just like it’s not realistic for only people who have had a house fire to pay for the fire department.

Many of the basic goals of the ACA, (expanding Medicaid to those that need it, providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, improving the health insurance marketplace, extending the period that young people can stay on parent’s plans, limiting health care cost increases as much as possible) seem reasonable to me. Don’t you think that a great America will include providing excellent health care for everyone as inexpensively as possible? The 2010 effort took a lot of hard work. The improved version will require more work. Even the current president promised to provide improved health care for all at lower cost. It’s time for some legislators to stop complaining about how nasty the Affordable Care Act is and time for all our congressional representatives to show their constituents that they can truly, honestly, sincerely improve it. I am planning to make these suggestions directly to our representatives. Maybe you can too.

Kent Woodruff, Twisp