Letters of Support from Around the World

Thanks to all those who have written to the Governor on behalf of The Children's Forest. We think it is having a good effect. If you haven't written yet, please do so and send us a copy. Here are some of excerpts from the letters that have come in.

From Chiloquin, Oregon

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

I am writing you regarding a proposed timber sale on Sun Pass State Forest, which is just down the road from where I live. It is a place in which my family, friends and I frequently recreate. The local ODF foresters have named the sale "Siderod", and it is due to go to bid this spring.  If this sale goes forward as planned, over half of the remaining old growth trees in one of the last old-growth remnants in Sun Pass Forest will be cut.  If nothing changes, the remaining big trees will then succumb in future sales. This is all taking place in an area where most of the mature forest is already gone.  It is enormously distressing to me to have the Oregon Department of Forestry be so far behind the curve in current forestry thinking. I am fully cognizant of all the good and necessary things funded by the Common School Fund; but this Fund currently has $800 million in assets and is projected to reach $1 billion. The value of an intact old growth forest - to school children probably more even than others of us - with all its component species and functions, is surely far greater than the small number of dollars this sale will add to the already large School Fund. Saving these giant pines and firs is providing for our children's future in a way that may not be quantifiable.

Governor, do we have to change the mandates for managing the State's lands, or is there room under current laws to manage more in tune with the ecological consciousness of theAmerican people, and certainly that of Oregonians? Our young friends, who live on land surrounded by Sun Pass State Forest, have worked tirelessly with Bill, Ed and others of ODF's Klamath Falls office, urging them to review the Siderod sale and preserve the big trees. They have set up a web site to tell the story of what they call "The Children's Forest" and to make more people aware of how Common School Fund lands are managed. I urge you, Governor, to view this site at http://www.innerexplorations.com/forest.htm  I think you will be moved and impressed.

I also urge you to do whatever you appropriately can to move ODF into the new era of forest landmanagement. It will benefit your young son and all his generation far more than a few annual dollars added to the School fund. Thank you for your help.

From Singapore 

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

Saving The Children’s Forest


I am writing you concerning the unfortunate situation that has befallen and will continue to befall, it seems, the place called The Children’s Forest. It came to my attention, thanks to the Director of Inner Explorations Jim Arraj, that the Oregan Dept. of Forestry has proposed a Siderod Timber Sale in Klamath County, Oregon, due to go to bid this spring, and plans are underway to cut down the best and last old growth forests and to remove more than half of the old growth trees now, with absolutely no provision for saving them in and for the future.

It seems that the whole area is already over-cut, with most of the mature forest destroyed. And despite repeated requests, they have yet to provide adequate data about what they and other forest owners in this area have done in the past as concerns the downing of the old growth trees, and of how this logging has affected the creatures whose very existence depend on the flourishing of such forests.

On their side, they claim that their timber cutting is justified by their legal mandate to "maximize revenue", and that the money goes to the Common School Fund. Apart from the fact that this is not justified even on the basis of the current economic resources of the Common School Fund (see http://www.innerexplorations.com/forest.htm), one must be very clear that while revenue should be maximized, it must never be done at the expense of other incommensurable and irreplaceable goods. This especially goes for goods which support and make possible the very survival of the human species. The ecological balance is so delicate and already so badly disrupted that estimations of mass extinctions have been made for the human species. Certainly this is not simply a matter of the romantic preservation of beautiful birds for the later generation, but a crusade for the very existence of the later generations of the human species itself.

A certain classical thinker once said that a sign of human intelligence is his ability to plan. Man for his part, while not equipped with physical features like the brutes which ensure his survival, has instead been blessed with intelligence, which makes for his physical natural weaknesses. If we are at all to survive as a species, we must plan, and plan well for the future, as is clear to your very prudent office.

Therefore I appeal to you to ask the Oregan Dept. of Forestry to reconsider this sale and to refrain from destroying the old growth trees, especially the enormous ponderosa pines, sugar pines, and white fir more than 200 years old and which are fast vanishing from the
east-side forest. On my part, I thank you and your good governance, which will effect the endurance of the later generations.

From New York City

Please respect the earth. Do not cut down and destroy the Children's Forest in Oregon.

From Japan

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

I, a Japanese psychologist, am writing you because I was moved to read a letter from my friends living in Oregon, deeply concerned over the the Oregon Dept. of Forestry is going to do to the place they call The Children's Forest. Are you really going to have Dept. of Forestryis cut one of their best and last old growth forests, removing more than one half of the old growth trees now with no provision for saving any of them in the future? I do hope you reexamine the plan. Is it really reasonable to further
cut down old growth trees, robbing the creature living in the forest of the necessary environment even in order to maximize revune? Is your decision really based upon a consideration on the appropriate balance between the need for financial income and the responsibility to the maintenance of the environment that is essential for animals as well as humans?

Deeply concerned, I am watching from Japan what you will do for the Children's Forest.

From Klamath Falls, Oregon

Dear Governor Kitzhaber:

... Our world is crying out from the damage to old growth forests and other parts of the environment due to short-term concern for funds. It is especially hard in a state where our natural resources are so rich and diverse. It is sad to live in a state where education and social services are being undercut through an obsession with cutting taxes while the lack is partially made up through devastating alternatives such as the destruction of old growth forests.

I urge you to ask the Oregon Department of Forestry to reevaluate this sale and come up with an alternative. At the very least, I hope they will save at least some of the old growth trees such as the huge, old white fir, sugar pines and ponderosa pines. We owe it to future generations to make our financial decisions with the future in mind.

From South Carolina

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

First I want to explain my interest in the issue I am writing to you about. One of my life long dreams is to come to your state, to visit would be wonderful, to reside would be even beyond my happiest dreams. To know that there is still some of the 'original' United States' enviroment there is a great pull for many people including myself. To be on the east coast and knowing and watching the constant deterioation of what the nation used to be is really depressing and humiliating to me. (Have you ever seen one of those maps showing how much of the United States was covered in forested woodland areas before the 'civilized' man step foot on it and how much there is now). Every day that goes by I pass a new 'developing' area of clear away cutting, this not an exaggeration. This is just in my radius of 50 miles traveling in my area. And there is always what SEEMS a good reason for it but in reality it is so stupid. I like a quote I read not long ago in our local paper here, about really neat things to leave for your children: "Be sure you take lots of pictures of different trees, for all the different ones we have won't be here for them." I am sorry I cannot remember who said it to give credit, but it was intended to be funny but oh so true. So my dreams have been based on the beauty of your state, the areas in the west that are still blessed with what was given us in the state. Oh I am not saying that some things are not neccessary, I guess with some things we just take advantage of things that are there to a point that they will not always be there. The habitats are so very important, not just for the animals, but also for us, the human, to survive. With the destruction of habitat comes the destruction of the human.

From Chiloquin, Oregon

Having been very familiar with forest stands that were cut early in the 90's near the Children's Forest, I cringe to think of the mess that was left. Acres and acres of beautiful forest lands were laid waste... Wonderful sugar pine stands are gone - cedar, ponderosas, and fir. Along with the forest went mule deer birthing grounds, elk summer range, bear habitat, wolverine, bird nesting areas of all sorts (including the pileated wood pecker and numberous others of this species, various jays, a variety of raptors and migratory birds, as well as a variety of squirrels and a host of other creatures native to the area.) The vast area of devastation is heart-breaking to behold!

Since the funds from the sale are ear-marked for the "Common School Fund," I can't help wondering how the school children would feel if they were taken to such an area and shown the "wonderful mismanagement" and destruction of their heritage - our precious forest lands, as compared to a properly managed forest.