Resist monumental overreach now


I continue to be concerned that the proposed Douglas Fir National Monument is much too large, and must be considerably revised. Please, everyone, write your congressmen to oppose this endeavor as it currently stands.

Just by way of comparison, this Douglas Fir Monument is proposed to be about 500,000 acres. That is three-quarters the size of the whole state of Rhode Island!

I’m using rounded numbers here, but compare that to some other parks that you may be familiar with: Crater Lake National Park, 183,200 acres; Oregon Caves National Monument, 480 acres; Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument (Paulina), 50,000 acres; Lava Beds National Monument in nothern California, 46,000 acres; Redwood National Park, 48,000 acres; Yosemite National Park, 748,000 acres; Mt. Rainier National Park, 236,000-plus acres; Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, 110,000 acres.

Doesn’t the size of the proposed Douglas Fir National Monument seem to be overkill?

The redwoods rated only 48,000 acres; why do Douglas firs, which are far more widespread and in no danger of extinction, rate so much more territory?

Each of the above locations has some special feature to preserve for posterity, which is admirable, but Douglas firs don’t need such a vast territory to “preserve a good sample of their kind.”

One-tenth of the proposed area would be very sufficient, even if it were broken up into several pieces to identify the most outstanding groves of firs.

The proponents, Andy Kerr and his buddies, have said they would let forest fires burn, because “that is natural.”

But that ignores the fact that in such a large domain there are private property owners and towns scattered throughout which would be exempted from the monument but not protected from the danger of fires destroying them.

Is it possible they want to move the people out to cities, so “nature” can have free reign… and humans can’t?

Also, these trees are a resource. We all need timber products, and the jobs they provide. Trees are a crop: After harvesting the timber, the area is replanted for future use, over and over again.

If our farmlands were confiscated in like manner, we would be paying exorbitant prices for the scarce food available. Forests are just long-term farms.

Look at those figures again, and express your concern to those who have the power to make these decisions, and intervene. We don’t need to just stand by and let Kerr and his ilk have their way.

Joan Scofield

Sweet Home