Letters and comments for May 17, 2012

By Observer Upload May 17, 2012 01:05 pm
Letters and comments for May 17, 2012

Conservationists key


To the Editor:

I feel compelled to answer John Cogan’s response to Loren Hughes (“Still enjoys forest,” May 11).

His comments about “knocking on death’s door” were mean-spirited and tasteless in the extreme.

If it weren’t for conservationists such as Mr. Hughes, or truly conservative presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Cogan might not have the privilege of enjoying a forest at all; perhaps he would be putting around on his ATV in a thicket of stumps. 

Many readers make comments to the effect that since they pay taxes, they should be able to enjoy unlimited access to national forests without any regulations. 

We also pay federal taxes to maintain the Capitol building and the White House, but that doesn’t mean we should expect to walk in anytime day or night, rummage through offices, leave a pile of trash, and walk (or in this case drive) away.

With rights come responsibilities — in this case to safeguard our national resources and to share them with other tax-paying citizens. 

I am also puzzled as to why so many people are upset with proposed road closures, when many users of motor vehicles disregard them anyway.

A visit to the Spring Creek area will confirm how many people “cut” their own trails through meadows, or even “cut” entire roads to bypass sections that are closed.

My father also served in WWII, but I don’t use it as an excuse to insinuate that people who disagree with me are Nazis. Anyone who has met Loren Hughes would know that he is the furthest thing possible from being an “elitist.” 

I hope Mr. Cogan enjoys his motorized access to thousands of miles of taxpayer-subsidized roads in the national forests.

Matt Cooper

La Grande


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