Show some respect
As a taxpaying resident of Okanogan County, I am concerned with the ongoing issue of the Three Devils Road vacation. The Chiliwist group and supporters that are working to keep that road open to the public have been accused of having a vendetta against the vacation petitioners — the Gebbers/Gambles group.
The truth of the matter is that we as citizens of this county are only interested in not being locked out of the public forests lands that we need and/or enjoy. If this vacation is allowed to go through, I believe that the closures will only continue as there are many roads in the Chiliwist and other areas that would be eligible for vacation under the same exact conditions.
I believe that what is being called a vendetta by this large corporation is a smoke screen to distract from their total lack of respect for other people’s rights, needs and safety. I have personally had conversations with folks that are supportive of the Chiliwist group but are not willing to openly rally behind it due to their association with the petitioners for this road vacation.
It is my opinion that respect is not acquired or earned through buying support or bullying. If the group that is closing off access to public lands wants to be treated with respect, then I suggest that being better neighbors and treating others with that same respect will go a long way toward that end.
Syd Lamb, Malott
Thanks from XC teams
How fortunate are we to have such good kids in our community? The Liberty Bell High School cross-country (XC) team not only sent a boys’ contingent to state for the sixth straight year, but also a girls’ team too for the first time since 1999. We were competitive throughout the entire season thanks to the student athletes’ hard work, teamwork and determination.
Thank you, parents, for instilling in your child(ren) the solid work ethic it takes to race against the clock each week.
The team coordinated two meets this season and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the willing assistance of the XC parents and volunteers alike. Special volunteer thanks go out to “alumni parents” Shaun Seibel and John Daily, and Rick Lewis, for their long-lasting commitment to the XC program.
Thank you, Winthrop Kiwanis and Liberty Bell Booster Club, for your continued meal support for team members at state. Once again, thank you, Ryan and East 20 Pizza, for helping us raise money for extended race weekend expenses. Many thanks also to the various personal financial donors during our team fundraising campaign. Thank you, Aaron and the Twisp River Pub, for hosting our end-of-season awards evening and to race organizers Dan Kuperberg and Brian Sweet, along with the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, for donating proceeds to the team from the upcoming End of the Road 5K/1K run. And of course, many thanks to Rita at Winthrop Mountain Sports for providing yearly assistance in the running shoe department.
And last but surely not least, thanks to Methow Valley Elementary School teachers Jennifer Duguay, and Jonathan and Rachel Stratman and their respective class students, for sending us off to state with their smiles, waves and “good luck” posters.
The team(s) were surely proud to run this year for a collective cause, for the school and for the community. They made us quite proud. Thank you, LBHS XC student athletes.
It does take a community.
Craig Herlihy, Erik Brooks, Sarah Brooks, LBHS XC coaching staff
Explaining the Mission Project
I am responding to the Nov. 4 letter, “Oppose Mission Project.”
As co-chair of the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative (NCWFHC), I want to share our perspective on the Mission Project. The NCWFHC supports the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (OWNF) and its published Restoration Strategy for integration of the latest science into ecological restoration of forests, streams, and rivers.
The NCWFHC includes 19 organizations that volunteered for the widespread invitation to participate, and all meetings are open to the public. As with any diverse body, we have areas of agreement and disagreement. One area of agreement is the scientific rationale for restoration treatments in dry forest landscapes in which wildfire has been excluded or suppressed. The great majority of ecologists, wildlife biologists, fire scientists, hydrologists, climate scientists, etc., agree that active management, including prescribed fire, mechanical thinning (logging), and wildland fire are needed to restore and maintain ecological functions and increase resilience to climate change.
The Mission Project is one of several potential OWNF projects that we are supporting. We are assisting the Methow Valley Ranger District (MVRD), which has been overwhelmed with fire-fighting and recovery efforts. The NCWFHC contracted with a forest ecologist and silviculturist to interpret the OWNF’s landscape analysis of Buttermilk and Libby Creek watersheds. He is analyzing current conditions, past harvests, changes from historic conditions, and ecological restoration needs, as well as developing guidelines for potential treatments and prioritizing areas to field verify. We have also collected data for an aquatic evaluation, and completed road condition surveys. All of the above information will be provided to the MVRD to consider in developing a proposed action.
Although the Mission Project area encompasses 40,000 acres, the preliminary interpretation indicates only 10 percent, or about 4,000 acres, that need treatment have potential for logging. Other types of restoration will also be considered. Once the MVRD develops its proposed action with alternatives, it will conduct an environmental analysis of potential impacts, which will undergo public review, most likely by next spring or early summer.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or go to NCWFHC.org.
Lloyd McGee, The Nature Conservancy
Let’s avoid the disaster
After two monster fires, two summers in a row, we still find resistance to thinning forest fuels by people who believe that fuels don’t count except near homes. Dr. Richard Fonda, the retired botany professor, who I worked with and respected while I was a ranger/naturalist at Olympic National Park, just recently wrote in Douglasia, the Washington Native Plant Society magazine, that Sierra Club resistance to forest reality is helping preserve the overstocked tinder box of fuels on public lands, that guarantees more cataclysmic fires.
If this Sierra Club disaster could be changed somehow, you could gain back former members, such as myself, who now have to explain to people the inconvenient truth contained in Flames in Our Forest by Arno and Allison-Bunnell. Arno’s co-author admits in his introduction to being a former “tree-hugger,” the expression which has become synonymous with Sierra Clubber.
Eric Burr, Mazama