The Herald’s Nov. 20 editorial, “Forest Service will protect roadless areas for public,” had an opportunity to ask some very important questions, on this enormous decree from the executive branch to lock up forest lands the size of the state of Oregon. Unfortunately it failed to do so.
The Herald maintained this edict was done by the will of the people. If this is so, why is it being implemented by executive order rather than being passed into law by Congress, as laws with the concensus of the people do?
The United States is using as many forest products as it ever has. The U.S. Forest Service is providing less than 20 percent of traditional levels. From which countries are the shortfalls being made up? What are their environmental standards? Is the editorial board suggesting that we should use more of the far less ecologically friendly substitutes for wood products, such as plastic, steel and cement?
The Herald implied that locking up these lands would enhance, ecologically, clean water, clean air and the salmon. Is there any peer-reviewed science that has reached any of these conclusions?
It is the Herald’s premise that locking up these lands will save the taxpayers money. If the Weyerhaeuser company decided to ban all new logging roads on their property, would their stock price go up or down?
What is the fair market value for these lands? A simple law of economics is that resources used in one place are lost from their next best opportunity. Which of society’s causes will have less resources allocated to them as a result of these lockups?
These are all questions that should be discussed before a decision of this magnitude should occur. Unfortunately, The Herald missed an opportunity to do so.
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