October 25, 2001 11:00 pm

Were happy to see that Sawtooth Forest Industries is looking at establishing a plant in Wallowa.

The Melba, Idaho, company makes wood pellets and pressed logs. Sawtooth is considering signing an agreement with Wallowa Forest Products to purchase sawdust for product manufacturing in Wallowa County.

The Sawtooth plant would provide a boost to the countys economy. Although Sawtooth would begin with only a small crew, the plant could eventually expand to three around-the-clock shifts, employing 24 people.

Wallowa County has made strides in diversifying its economy, with the artisans and foundries in Joseph and Enterprise making important contributions.

But its good to see that a major staple of the countys economy over the past century wood products is not being forgotten. Its wonderful to see Joseph Timber, Wallowa Forest Products, and now, the possible new Sawtooth plant, providing jobs and making a contribution to the economy.

We would urge Sawtooth Forest Industries to consider using rail transport to move its products to market. The addition of another rail customer would help build a stronger case to get trains running again between La Grande and Joseph. Rail service could return as local companies pledge to make freight trains an integral part of their shipping plans.


Get there early to find a seat, and be prepared to ask questions of Portland State University professor John Damis on a topic of critical importance to Americans today.

The political science and international studies professor Monday will be addressing the topic, The Sept. 11 Attacks Origins, Responses and Possible Consequences. The free Blue Mountain Forum talk will be held at 7 p.m. in room 142 of Zabel Hall at Eastern Oregon University.

Damis has the credentials to provide significant and helpful information on this topic. He has worked in the State Department, has studied and worked in the Middle East and North Africa and has written extensively on the politics and international relations of the region.

The events of Sept. 11, which brought devastation to the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and death to the passengers on board four hijacked airliners, has vast implications for Americans.

What is an appropriate military response? How patient should we be in rooting out terrorist organizations in the world? How big of a price are Americans willing to pay over the long haul? Most any question will be fair game Monday. Were glad to see the Blue Mountain Forum and EOU putting together such a significant program.