|Saving Our Forests
In January 1998 Michael Dombeck, U.S. Forest Service chief, called for an 18-month moratorium on building new logging roads into millions of acres of our national forests, as Ted Williams reported in "Clinton's Last Stand" [May-June]. What was exempted from this moratorium was the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest's forests, and smaller, ecologically significant roadless areas. I should like to urge you to continue to educate and inform your readers about the effects of industrial development in the forest on wildlife habitat. As Mr. Dombeck told Congress in 1998, "Logging in roadless areas no longer makes sense." We as a society must focus on long-term forest health, not just short-term timber supply.
Having greatly admired "Clinton's Last Stand," my intention is to send copies to Barbara Bush to give to her son, Governor George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Trent Lott, and others who need to be educated on environmental issues.
Cornelia Van Winkle
I just finished reading "Clinton's Last Stand." What struck a chord with me was the comment that "there are 50 million hunters and fishers who overwhelmingly support roadless areas." The article says that sportsmen and -women do not get adequate leadership. As a hunter, fisher, avid birder, and professional wildlife biologist, I say, Why can't we take the initiative and get those folks on our side? Most are deeply concerned about environmental issues and are often misjudged by the nonhunting public. I believe J. J. Audubon himself was a hunter.
Thomas M. Padgett
National Audubon Society president John Flicker's article "Stand Up for the Mississippi" [The Audubon View, May-June] is shocking and appalling. By doubling the size of seven of the locks and expanding 36 dams, the Mississippi, as we know it, will be destroyed. Can't we find a nice deserted island for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? Let them build a bridge on top of a bridge or something, so in that way they will be kept occupied. Yes, it is time that we stand up and say, "Enough is enough." I myself petitioned to save the Mattaponi River, and now this. What's next? Maybe we should allow the government to dry up the Great Lakes and build huge parking lots. The May-June issue was a real eye-opener.
Paul Dale Roberts
Elk Grove, CA
See "Trouble on the Mississippi" for more on this issue.
Thanks for bringing the downside of birding to light in "Loving Birds to Death" [Field Notes, May-June]. That a bird guide and wildlife biologist downplays the loss of a few hatchlings is both arrogant and sad. I am a birder, but I try to put birds first; I try not to disturb them, and I don't play calls or scratch on trees. The birds don't exist just to be added to our life lists. Ecotourism is not a panacea--I hope that people would pay to protect land just to know the species will continue to exist, even if they never get to see it. I know I would.
Mill Valley, CA
It's a Chem World
Great timing for your article "The Killer in Your Yard" [May-June]. We just moved into a small new development alongside a gorgeous conservation area. Our new neighbor came over to tell me that she had contracted with ChemLawn, just so we would know, "because of [our] baby and dogs." In fact, I had already seen the truck go by. But as kindly as possible, I proceeded to recite all the arguments about why she might consider not using anything like that on her lawn, which is adjacent to our prairie plantings and bluebird houses. I don't think it helped. I'm going to try to find a way to incorporate your "Audubon Guide to Home Pesticides" into some materials and distribute them to my neighbors. It's a difficult mission to get "out there" in the ChemLawn world, but I'm going to try.
After reading through the "Audubon Guide to Home Pesticides," I realized that someone had finally put together a concise guide to pesticides that answered many of the questions that I, as a science teacher, frequently get asked. The guide is an excellent resource for my students, as well as for my own information.
New Berlin, WI
For copies of the guide, see "Audubon Guide to Home Pesticides," or write to Audubon magazine, 225 Varick St. 7th Floor. New York, NY 10014.
© 2000 NASI
You can also send a letter to the editor