For the long-term eco-good


Unfortunately, with most environmental problems, agreement on solutions is not easy to achieve (“Losing Lake Coeur d’Alene,” HCN, 6/24/19). I encourage you to keep up your efforts to provide scientific and economic reasons why we should continue to cooperate for the long-term good of all members or society. I was born and raised in southern Oregon, lived most of my adult life in San Francisco, and have resided here in southern Chile for the past 15 years. Unfortunately, I see many of the same eco-practices occurring here as I did in the late 1940s and 1950s in the Western states: clear-cutting of native forest eco-systems for replacement by “exotic” species, such as Douglas fir, eucalyptus and pine for monoculture plantations. Mining in northern Chile has been a disaster for many of the small agricultural communities, as watersheds become polluted or even dry up — when the mines use the available water (usually upstream) to process the minerals. Large sections of some fjords and estuaries, where large-scale fish farming occurs, become polluted from the chemicals added to the salmon “fish food” to encourage their rapid growth. I have seen my neighbor wash out his tractor water tanks of the residue from the fertilizer and weed-control poisons directly into the small creek bordering my property.   

Ron Pruitt
Vilcun, Chile

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