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The feud between two factions

Regarding the Opinion page article "Key Results From Forest Conference," April 16: President Clinton has shown a sincere interest in the April 2 Forest Conference. The president has inherited an enigma from past administrations. However, environmental pressures were never as great as they are today.

The problem to defuse can be described as a feud between two factions of environmental management. The forest industries are wrongly labeled the bad guys who only think in terms of dollar signs and self-preservation. To the left are the environmentalists, who are self-proclaimed guardians of and experts on our world's ecosystems. The Clinton administration must politically navigate through these two powerful groups.

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The forest industry is trying to deal with facts and shake the stereotypes of the past, while environmentalists deal with emotion and inflated numbers and have succeeded in bombarding the blind masses in America with propaganda.

The dedication of the Clinton administration is there, but a serious question arises: Will the new administration find a realistic solution to the logjam by dealing with the facts and individual rights? The major abuses to the forests out west that the environmental activists cite can be attributed to the United States Forest Service and not to the large timber companies.

The only significant result from the Forest Conference was the commitment by Clinton to work with existing environmental laws and to protect the rights of Americans by enforcing the laws in court. The president should now take a closer look at our Constitution and the true status of our nation's forests. Steven P. Meyers, Auburn, Ala.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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