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Know the West

We made it flood

  Dear HCN,

We who live east of the Rockies have looked on with dismay, disbelief and, I hope, with compassion as people of the Pacific Northwest suffered devastating floods, mudslides and resultant power outages. Another billion-dollar disaster and the media blame it all on the weather (HCN, 1/20/97).

The real truth must be told: Deforestation has literally paved the way for the waters and the mudslides to rush down the mountain slopes all over the Northwest.

The tragedy of it is that the taxpayers pay for the logging roads which crisscross the mountains, and the Department of Agriculture, through the U.S. Forest Service, gives tacit approval by approving timber sales almost everywhere in the national forests. Only the wilderness areas and national parks, protected by the law, escape such fate.

To prevent future disasters, federal, state, corporate and private entities should work together on reforesting the mountains of the Northwest - a daunting but essential task.

Arvin W. Roos

Strasburg, North Dakota