LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Where did the forest jobs go?


I appreciate the Union-Bulletin for making the spotted owl article a front page item Feb. 20. It signifies how our general populace has lost its grasp of what a forest's biological ecosystem is and that it can be destroyed in the name of generating jobs.

The spotted owl was not, in past forest plans, given as a singular item for forest to be managed by. Spotted owl is merely a "key" specie indicating a fully diverse forest which has more than a 1,000 species.

The reason for the current intense competition between spotted owl and barred owl is that their habitat has been reduced to small undisturbed wilderness areas, where they are now forced to compete.

The rest of the original forest has been converted to saturation planted tree farms - no longer natural ecosystem forest, and not having the items necessary for the great owls to survive, let alone 1,000 other species.

Note that the Mill Creek Watershed and the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness have been in place for millions of years without commercial product parties applying what they call "best science."

Man's "best science" can measure biological ecosystems but it cannot replace them. Especially not by cutting and burning it and stopping the natural recycling of nutrients.

At one time the Umatilla Forest Resource Council involved dozens of volunteer biologists in writing up guidelines for guaranteeing proper function of our Blue Mountain forest ecosystem.

It took several years to produce the plan. That plan was disregarded by federal forest managers.

Current commodity market planners and politicians such as Obama seek to convert the remaining forests to temporary jobs by cutting and burning, which they claim is "Best Science."

Note: It is natural biological systems which make Earth livable, and best science did not develop the original diverse ecosystems.

Ask yourself why the previously "best science" harvested forests are not now providing jobs. There used to be dozens of sawmills in the Blue Mountains - where did they go? Where did their jobs go?

Al Johnson

Walla Walla


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