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I would like to comment on a few issues reported by Masha Herbst in her Feb. 15, 2004 Couverden timber sale article:
1. The road system at Couverden has been in place for many years and there have been several timber sales scattered along that road system over the years. The timber harvests are done carefully and they have not and will not harm fish or wildlife habitat.
2. The log transfer facility has been in place since the first development of this site, so Mr. Erickson doesn't need to worry that, "if they put a log dump there that will mess up the fishing hole pretty much."
3. The road systems the bear hunters use are logging roads. Only a few new roads are planned, so the impacts to bear hunters should be minimal. Certainly, the hunters should not object to the brief use of logging roads for this timber sale. After all, it is a multiple-use forest.
4. SEACC's comments about the Forest Service losing money are disingenuous. The timber sales make money unless you charge the timber program with the excess cost of endless NEPA studies, appeals and lawsuits. Most of these excess costs are a result of the actions of groups that now complain about those high costs. If they are concerned about fiscal matters, the environmentalists should drop these costly lawsuits. The lawsuits harm the timber industry, the local communities and cost everyone a great deal of money.
Owen J. Graham