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'Pulp Fiction' garners Sustainable reader reaction

Your recent article about forest certification (“Pulp fiction?” Sustainable Life, Aug. 15) missed important facts about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

First, SFI is an independent organization governed with equal representation from conservation, economic and social stakeholders. You cited Forest Stewardship Council’s supporters but did not report that SFI’s Board of Directors includes representatives of The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Bird Studies Canada, the Manomet Center for Conservation Studies, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, several academic foresters and the State Forester of Maryland.

Second, the notion that an FSC-labeled product indicates the product comes from land in which clear-cuts have been restricted to “six acres” is inaccurate. FSC actually has no clear-cutting restrictions over at least 45 percent of the land certified to that standard, including in Russia, Sweden, Brazil and parts of Canada.

On conversion of forestland to other uses, there is no significant difference between SFI and FSC. Both require participants to exclude lands slated for development from certified areas.

On chemical use, the SFI Standard requires use of chemicals to be the least toxic and narrowest spectrum pesticides and herbicides to achieve forest management objectives and to use integrated pest management wherever feasible. Meanwhile, FSC has granted at least 74 exemptions for companies to use “FSC-banned” chemicals, which leaves consumers in doubt about the veracity of FSC claims to forbid these chemicals.

SFI also promotes responsible forestry in many ways other than through the Standard: through our Chain of Custody and certified sourcing labels; by investing in conservation research; by working directly with communities to promote sustainable practices; and through the innovative Forest Partners program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of State Foresters and other authorities have said the SFI, FSC and other credible certification programs all can be accepted as evidence of sustainable forestry. The reason that “academics and government foresters are avoiding the fight,” as your article put it, is that they know that the differences between SFI and FSC are insignificant compared with the need to promote responsible, science-based forest practices, regardless of the specific approach.

Kathy Abusow

President & CEO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Ontario

Correcting the record

Your article about forest certification programs painted an inaccurate portrait of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and left out many important facts, including several that I discussed with reporter Steve Law when interviewed for this article.

As an Oregonian running a fourth-generation family logging business, I care passionately about the health of our forests and want to make sure they thrive for generations to come. I’m also committed to protecting our watersheds and wildlife habitats, which every community in the state depends on upon.

The science-based SFI Standard has become the leading one in Oregon, and throughout North America, in improving responsible forestry practices to meet those goals. It requires practices that protect fish and wildlife, ensure clean water and soil and result in sustainable, healthy working forests.

The critical difference between SFI and other certification programs is that SFI’s network of regional implementation committees actively work to train loggers and others in best practices. Only by engaging with those doing the work on the ground can an organization make a difference in the forest. SFI makes a difference and is recognized for its community network and its logger training, its best management practices for water quality and soil protection, and much more.

Also, by excluding SFI from credit under Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), the U.S. Green Building Council is actually taking jobs away from Oregonians who practice responsible forestry. It’s wrong economically and ecologically.

It is disappointing to me that the author of the article had an opinion he was forcing on everyone without listening to and reporting on the opinions of those he interviewed. As an Oregonian, I expect more from the Portland Tribune.

Bob Luoto

McMinnville

Library thriving

It has been a long, warm summer in Milwaukie enjoyed by students and parents alike. Despite the challenges of navigating light-rail construction closures, many of our citizens have made it to the library to participate in Summer Reading programs, adult classes and weekly lunch-time concerts in adjacent Scott Park.

Last month alone, 64,491 items were checked out from Milwaukie’s Ledding Library. 22,439 library patrons visited in July. That is more than the total population of Milwaukie walking through the doors of our library ... every month. 1,697 children and 507 teens also signed up for the Summer Reading program. More than 450 books were read by our members in the Adult Summer Reading Program. In addition, there were 2,634 computer sessions logged last month.

The Wednesday concerts in Scott Park have allowed over 600 people to enjoy the variety of music while enjoying food provided by Jill Younce of Painted Lady Coffee House.

All told, there were 59 different programs offered by the library in July this year, all managed by the Library staff and 923 hours of volunteer time. In all of the Clackamas County System of libraries, Milwaukie is second only in patrons served to the Lake Oswego branch. It is very clear how important the Ledding Library is to our community.

A recent study paid for by the Library Foundation donor funds, supports a finding that the library is in need of more room at its present location. We are not meeting the Oregon Library Association size standards given the amount of space we use to house the collection and provide programs. This study by the architectural firm FFA has found that there is a way to expand the library on the existing site and bring the library into conformance with the Oregon Library Association standards. Look for that report and renderings of potential expansion at the city of Milwaukie website.

Milwaukie clearly loves Ledding Library ... and the library loves to serve the thousands of people who pass through the doors, seeking to read and learn more with each visit.

Scott Churchill

Milwaukie city councilor

Thank you!

Thank you to our community for your support restoring our track at John McLoughlin Elementary!

In the spring of 2010, one of our amazing instructional aides here at John McLoughlin Elementary, Teri Walt, came to our PTSO with a proposal to restore our school track to support the health of our school and community. The property that John McLoughlin now sits on was actually in Teri’s family and her father sold the land to the school district.

This dream would not have become a reality without all of you! We would like to thank the Oregon City Metro Enhancement Committee for their support of our project with a grant of $16,000.

We have held numerous fundraisers with local restaurants including Burgerville, Mike’s Drive In, Panda Express, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Singer Hill Cafe, Wichita Bar and Grill and the Yogurt Shack.

We have received donations and support from these local businesses, organizations and families: Choices Insurance Agency, NW Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeons; Oregon City Optimist Club; Pacific Power Foundation; Jane Campillo; Allen Family; Crandall Family; Gregory Family; Mathews Family; O’Brien Family; Rickenbach Family; Williams Family; and Wilson Family.

A very special thank you to Hal’s Construction who worked with us and shared in the dream!

Thank you to our wonderful principals for their guidance and assistance — Carol Sanders, Gary McCormick, Ginger Redlinger and Lisa Normand. Thank you to the Oregon City School District for their lasting support. Thank you to the PTSO and the parent coordinators who have volunteered their time and efforts to make this happen!

Most importantly, we would like to thank all of our students, teachers and families who have worked so hard these past three years.

We did this together — THANK YOU!

Becki Coulsey

Oregon City

Re: Sept. 4 ‘demand for action’ story

While I am deeply sorry for Mr. Kemp’s loss and for all the victims of the Clackamas Town Center tragedy, I can’t help but wonder how further background checks would have altered the events of that day whatsoever?

As with this crime and so many others like it, the firearm that was used was stolen. Same was true for Newtown, so how does a background check change any of this?

Furthermore, be cautious of the group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Between February and the end of July nearly 60 mayors had recanted their membership to the group because they felt they had been misled as to what the actual goals of the group were. No one should be confused about Michael Bloomberg’s real agenda with the M.A.I.G, they want all guns banned and confiscated. Go to nationalreview.com and read “Mayors Against Bloomberg’s Bombast,” and see if you don’t agree.

I am all in favor of a solution, but let’s have one that makes sense. Perhaps a registration for the mentally ill? Would that stop them from stealing firearms? No. However, it would ensure they could not buy one legally.

Perhaps if it were vetted properly it would prevent parents, such as the mother of the Newtown killer, from buying firearms that she so irresponsibly left unlocked and accessible to her mentally-ill son.

Jim Perrault

Milwaukie

Savas’ open policy

While the rest of us are living, paying taxes, etc., the Jeff Molinaris of the world are sitting around writing editorials.

He touts Ludlow and Smith as open to the voter. Yet only one commissioner, Paul Savas, has a personal e-mail which he actually answers.

The simple truth for people like Ludlow, Smith and the Molinaris is they really don’t want to deal with you unless you agree with them.

John Robinson

Gladstone



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