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Blame the Consumers, not the Loggers

As one who is unashamedly a lifelong lumberman, I'm commenting on the article "Subsidized Timber Sales Raise Public-Benefit Issue," June 20. I think it might be interesting for non-lumbermen to hear one man's thoughts.The first question one must ask is, "Why are trees cut, anyway?" While there are many reasons (agricultural clearing, water reservoirs, roads, housing developments, etc.) certainly one of the main reasons is to produce raw materials for housing, furniture, and paper products. The world as we know it could not function without the products of the forest. Said another way, demand by the consumer determines that trees will be cut, not some irrational desire by lumbermen to see trees fall down. With trees being our only renewable resource, people should understand that cutting them is not "bad," in fact, it is good. Humanity has the opportunity to use the current generation of trees, while at the same time the next generation is maturing. To allow the trees to mature, decline, fall down and decay is an unjustifiable waste when judged by contemporary standards. The lumber industry in the past has not been responsible about the environment when viewed through today's eyes. However, the basic feeling of Americans is changing toward the environment - individuals and businesses will become more responsible with time. But the increase in cost that comes with environmental awareness needs time to infiltrate the economy. Instead of laying blame, look into the mirror, for it is you and I, as consumers, who create the demand. Thus it is our responsibility to clean up our mess in the short run, and prevent it in the long run. Donald Bradley, Plainfield, N.H.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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