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Letters 10/28-11/4

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Editor's Note:

In the October 23 issue, a photograph ran in the Events Calendar along with an announcement about a presentation on the retreat of glaciers in the Three Sisters Wilderness. That photograph ran without appropriate credit. Mary Moynihan is the photographer who took the picture—and, moreover, who made the difficult trek out to the remote Moraine Lake. It is a telling and beautiful picture, and more information and more photographs can be found at: MarriedToTheTrail.com.


So, Roats needed to register to vote at a business called Roats Water System because it was the best place for people to find him? Because they wouldn't necessarily know to find him at Roats Water System if he hadn't registered to vote there? Because people always check voter registrations to determine how to find someone? Even someone named Roats who owns a business named Roats?

—Michael Funke


Actually, it's called thinning—but functionally it still creates thousands of stumps and burn piles 8-20 feet high. And all of this is, and will be, visible from the River Trail since often it comes right up to the trail. It's unsightly now, and will continue to be. The piles will be up for another year (two years total) and after the piles get burned the singed circle of 15-25 feet (going down several feet) will be visible for many, many years. The U.S. Forest Service is marching down the river trail starting up at Benham Falls.

I talked to the District Ranger and questioned why they had not left a 100-foot-plus buffer zone (undisturbed) along the river trail (in my opinion the "Crowning Jewel" of the Deschutes National Forest) and his explanation essentially justified no visual management (protection of views) along the trail as fitting in with the goal of thinning to bring back the historic open character (due to ages of fire) of the forest, and to reduce catastrophic fire potential. I agree with the overall concept for the inner forest but this "transition" zone between the riparian [area] and the inner forest is a special case—very important, sensitive and fragile and very important to wildlife plus very important to the untouched beauty for us hikers, mountain bikers, tourists and homies. In my opinion, this undisturbed for a generations visual and ecological masterpiece—the area adjacent to the River Trail—is more important than the small increase in fire potential (there is a river on one side to stop fire spread!) due to adding a 100-foot buffer zone to minimize the visual impact.

Yes, the thinning plan did go through a long review period with input from many of the stakeholders (including environmentalists), but I think somewhere they forgot about common sense—to protect the visual beauty of this national and local trail resource and treasure.   

The area has been recovering from logging and after a lifetime now is quite natural with wilderness character. It's now shocking to see the dramatic effect of human intervention with the chainsaw work, thousands of stumps and hundreds of burn piles soon to be large burn rings! (If they where illegal campfire rings they would be looking to arrest someone!)

It was perfect—now it's significantly degraded visually and will take many, many years for nature to cover up the impact.

I suggest you get up there and see what it has done to the Benham Falls area and downstream. And imagine it continuing for miles on downstream to and through Meadow Camp Picnic area. If we don't express our desire for a buffer zone we won't have one—and [will] have to look at a disturbed landscape for the rest of our lives along our beloved river trail. We will have lost a lot.

—Mark Schuette


On a Sunday afternoon, on the busiest section of Century Drive near Galveston, a deer was hit by a car. The concussed youngster had four or five people huddled around him while cars drove in between him and the rest of his herd looking on anxiously. Traffic might have slowed but it didn't stop.

Thankfully before the "Animal Control" executioner arrived, the deer stumbled to his feet. Blocked by traffic and people, he went away from the herd and tried jumping over a fence. What followed was excruciating—in the middle of the road, circling, circling, as if a head injury was certain to kill him. He fell again. By this time I had stopped traffic on both sides and asked the first person in line to please keep those behind at bay (apparently no one felt within their rights to do that).

This letter is to you soccer moms in your giant SUVs who couldn't take five minutes out of your Sunday afternoon to help save a life. You didn't even need to lift a finger, only wait. Are you ashamed to have displayed such apathy, selfishness and aggression in front of your children? To the man who yelled, "They're a dime a dozen," I ask you: with seven billion humans on the planet, who is a "dime a dozen" really? Who creates this mess where deer huddle in town to escape hunters, only to be crippled by our relentless rush to get somewhere? Praise growth for the sake of profit while our morals have long been flushed down the toilet.

Gratitude to the people who helped save this deer's precious life.

—Vanessa Schulz


Whoever wrote this article needs a pat on the back. All of us in this town like to think that Bend is a progressive, free thinking municipality, but it's the people like Casey Roats whom, with their lies and parents' money, keep it from truly being a remarkable town.


Seems to me the only "mocking, juvenile response to an accusation" is the one presented in this article. It even comes with a fitting image. Way to trivialize politics, TSW.



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