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Middle Ground Scarce in Logging Debate

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Regarding the Special Report ``Managing Forests,'' Sept. 16: The following items would have provided a less negative picture of forestry in British Columbia:

First, British Columbia has a very detailed ecological land classification system, which is mandated as the basis for harvest and post-harvest planning. The expertise of the scientists who developed the program is in demand worldwide.

Second, all harvest operations must be advertised for public review for 90 days prior to initiation of harvest.

Third, British Columbia plants 250 million seedlings per year and all harvested areas must be fully restocked within six years of completion of logging.

In one recent year the area of forest destroyed by wildfire in Canada was about equivalent to that of all harvest areas logged in British Columbia this century.

Why are nature's very destructive habits considered ``ecological renewal'' while humans' are ``moonscapes''? Denis P. Lavender, Corvallis, Ore.

I applaud your recent coverage of forest issues and suggest a stronger stance. I visited Vancouver Island for the first time in 1990, and clear-cut scenes similar to the one heading the Special Report were common. In three days of driving, we were never out of sight of clear-cut hillsides. The most pristine area that we visited was Clayoquot Sound, where we listened to tales from fishermen of severely damaged salmon runs and silt-polluted streams.

I am incredulous that a ``compromise'' with the timber industry can be rationalized that will allow two-thirds of the remaining 10 percent of unprotected high-quality old growth in the area to be cut. All of it deserves protection. Every bit of moral outrage aimed at such forestry practices is justified. Max H. Licher, Sedona, Ariz.

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