Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Going bag-free

Thank you, Mike Fitzsimons of Redmond (Sat. Dec. 29 — “Bring your cart”) for reminding us that we might not need plastic bags or to bring in our own shopping bag for our grocery and other purchases. It occurred to me that I do as you suggested every time I visit Costco. At checkout, my stuff is put back into the shopping cart without an extra box or shopping bag, and I rumble it out and load it into my car. It works at Costco; why not at other places? Great suggestion.

Cheryl McGinnis

Bend

Don’t restrict forest access

I have sat back and watched the U.S. Forest Service with their thinking they know what is best for our forests. For 75 years, they were putting out all fires. Now, the policy is let it burn with containment ideology, not allowing any logging or cutting for firewood after a major fire.

Just look at the Santiam Pass — nothing but matchsticks waiting in the air to catch fire again.

I have also watched access to the forest being eliminated with rocks being placed to restrict access on side roads, and the main roads are narrowed so they can make the visitors push into smaller areas and parking lots.

Now, the Forest Service is telling us that we are overusing our forests, and the answer they come up with is buy a permit to help restrict our ability to visit our national forests whenever we wish. The national forests are the people’s, not the Forest Service’s. They are in charge of managing our forest for us. I believe for the future of our children to see this beauty, the Forest Service needs to be told they are going too far with their restrictive access policies.

My brother and father fought proudly for freedoms, which included hiking and camping anywhere on our forest land. Speak up; write your leaders; preserve one of our freedoms before it gets more restricted.

Paul M. Owen

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Warning: Wildlife on the highway

Animals migrate to lower elevations when a freeze starts. When one animal goes across the highway and a car is stopped, be patient, there are probably more coming to cross. Crescent and Tumalo are migrating areas. Please drive carefully and enjoy the magnificent animals.

Jim Moores

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Protecting the Ochocos

A recent court victory helped defend public lands in the Ochoco National Forest by rejecting a destructive off-road vehicle proposal. I’ve been hunting with my family in the Ochocos for years, and my friends gather in the Ochocos for our annual Memorial Day campout. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have been chased out of our Memorial Day camp spot by off-road vehicles roaring through our camp, spraying dust and tearing through the nearby wildflower meadow. The court victory is even more cause for celebration when considered with the current administration’s efforts to open public lands for industrial mining and drilling, reduce millions of acres of National Monuments and eliminate environmental protections.

It is good news that our court system is holding the line against attacks on our national treasure of public lands. This destructive plan was stopped for now, but we need Sens. Wyden and Merkley to come up with a plan that balances recreation, conservation and restoration to help protect this area.

Americans are lucky to have places we can hunt, fish, hike, mountain bike and enjoy. The plan to add more off-roading trails in the Ochoco through old-growth forest would cause disturbance to deer and elk, scar wildflower meadows and add sediment to streams providing habitat to native fish. Our public lands are shared by all Americans, and this large increase in impact by one small group would not be fair to the rest of us who enjoy these beautiful places.

Karen Lillebo

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