On Oct. 30, The Bulletin reported on an historic agreement between timber and environmental groups to overhaul management of 10 million acres of private forestlands in Oregon. This agreement had me thinking back to a Worthy Garden Club lecture at Worthy Brewing I attended a few weeks ago by Steven Beda, a University of Oregon professor, about how environmentalists and leaders in the timber industry once worked together to conserve forests in the Pacific Northwest. It was an important reminder that these issues aren’t always as polarized as they seem.

I remember the so-called “timber wars” and debate over the spotted owl quite well, but didn’t know the history of collaboration between these two groups who we generally see as being in conflict, even today, despite agreements like the one reported on by The Bulletin. Professor Beda shared that timber workers actually have a long history of environmentalism, including helping to advance landmark legislation and initiatives that preserved large swaths of forest and wilderness, including the 1964 Wilderness Act, and the establishment of the Three Sisters Wilderness and Olympic National Park. His historical perspective was enlightening.

I’m glad that Worthy Brewing partnered with my alma mater, University of Oregon, to share this valuable historical context for these contemporary issues. The lecture gave me hope for a future where environmentalists and the timber industry may come together again to conserve our forests and protect public lands.

Keeping the sheriff is costing us some real money

Front-page stories on Sept. 4 and 17 and Oct. 23 and 24 reported on the outcome of lawsuits and complaints filed by former sheriff’s department employees that have been adjudicated or resolved against Sheriff Shane Nelson, as well as another lawsuit in the wings filed by another former employee.

I submitted a letter of concern following the Sept. 17 story which was overlooked when originally submitted. Since then, I learned that no other reader submitted a letter on any of these stories, so I am again submitting my views:

It would seem that keeping our current sheriff on the job is starting to cost the county — all of us — some real money. The Bulletin reports over $1.5 million paid out to two former employees in the recent past with two more lawsuits by employees in the wings. While the sheriff’s position is an elected one, I think it’s time for the county commissioners to exercise oversight responsibilities however limited they may be. For example, a look at his salary might be in order. Also, a review of the department’s budget might suggest opportunities to allocate less to some budget items and more to leadership training, including gender discrimination and diversity.

The county’s chief law enforcement officer needs to lead by example, with workplace behavior that reflects a commitment to ending, rather than perpetuating, discrimination in any and all forms.

E-bikes shouldn’t be on same trails

I am an avid mountain biker and user of the Deschutes County singletrack trails with a traditional mountain bike. I am all for e-bikes and think they are wonderful for people who need assistance. I plan to invest in one when I am older or unable to get around on the trails with my present bike. That being said, I don’t agree with e-bikes and traditional bikes using the same trails. Because of riding at a faster speed, e-bikers will want to pass me, causing them to leave the trail to ride on vegetation, resulting in erosion of the trails. Riding uphill will be especially problematic when I have momentum and have to stop midway. That’s proper etiquette but there is bound to be conflict along with congestion.

There is beautiful forest scenery along all our many Forest Service roads that would be a nice place for e-bikes. Singletracks are mainly for people honing their technical skills and working on stamina and endurance.

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— Hank Skade, Bend

— Eileen Harrington, Bend

— Connie Van Doren, Bend

(2) comments


I disagree with the opinion regarding Shane Nelson. Sheriff Nelson is and has been a fantastic head sheriff for Deschutes county. If you look at policing nation-wide it has become the latest “lottery” to sue if anything goes slightly awry. The problem is a few bad apple policeman and a money hungry, opportunistic legal system. Your opinion is a poorly veiled attempt to defund the police.

Transitory Inflation

'I think it’s time for the county commissioners to exercise oversight responsibilities...'

I almost choked-out. Have you seen our commissioners in action mam? Two of three could only make matters worse!

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