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What's wrong with 'sustainable' forestry?

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Dear HCN,

In Mike Stark's article, "Will logging save the spotted owl" (HCN, 3/12/01: Will logging save the spotted owl?), he quotes Joe Keating, federal forest coordinator for the Sierra Club, "All in all, it's just a very bad plan." Later Keating expands, "The real reason (for this plan) is to have a sustainable forestry program; that's their prime directive."

And that's a bad thing?!! I was under the impression that a sustainable forestry plan was what true environmentalists want. Unfortunately, many in the Sierra Club pursue not only a zero cut on public lands, but as this shows, are against any cutting on state and I presume private lands.

When will true environmentalists name extremism when they see it? People like Joe K. can blithely pronounce judgment on any activity that doesn't meet their purity standards, and it rings a bell with a lot of concerned people, but only as long as the American demand for wood can be met from Canada, South America, or any third world country with forests and a seaport.

Horrors, just think, a sustainable forestry program - talk about selling out!

Tim Gammell
Portland, Oregon

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