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Salvage bill sells out democracy

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Dear HCN,

This is an open letter to Colorado Sens. Brown and Campbell, who recently voted for the salvage logging bill: I am writing to express my outrage at your vote to exempt the logging industry from environmental laws. There can be no justification for allowing a particular industry to be exempt from the law, whether the law is environmental or otherwise, and the precedent you establish with the salvage logging bill goes against every principle we hold dear in a democratic society.

You have decided that if a particular industry or lobbying group is sufficiently powerful, they do not have to obey the law. This nation has gone too far down that road already, and I am sickened, saddened and disgusted by it.

I am by no means a radical environmentalist. I do not belong to any environmental groups and I consider myself to be an average, moderate American.

The environmental laws of this country were established to preserve those elements of our natural world that are critical to our health as individuals and as a nation - our air, our water, our land, our forests and the diversity of our natural species. If these laws need some minor modifications over time, then the proper course of action is to debate changes to the law that might be necessary, and get the opinion of the people you supposedly represent.

Senators, the national forests you so blithely toss into the hands of an industry no longer constrained by law do not belong to you. They do not belong to the logging industry. Those forests belong to me, and every other citizen of this country, and we want them protected. I will be reminding you of that fact come election day.

Kevin M. Bailey

Fort Collins, Colorado

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