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Letters to the Editor

Thu., July 25, 2013, midnight

Forest project a win-win

Clearing forests would help needy families who could be paid from proceeds of dead wood being sawed or chipped.

If some forest management and wildfire prevention funds could be partially diverted to support inspectors and permitting costs, many local workers could support their families by self-employment.

Rather than charge a wood-gathering fee, pay them their fuel, equipment and labor from what they produce, be it firewood or wood for pulp chips at a local chip mill. There are portable chip hogs where payments could be contracted for with a local mill.

Many of our forest industry-dependent communities need more jobs. I have done that work, rain or shine, more than six months of the year, only closing when there is extreme fire danger. Snowmobiles can get chain-sawyers to the worksite and helicopters can get the logs to a saw deck or chipper.

The entire 193 million acres of Forest Service land and 245 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land, and state and national parks land, or corporate or privately owned land need not be cleaned up all in the first year. Probably a 15- to 20-year cleanup plan would suffice.

Something out of the box.

Duane Schofield

Cusick, Wash.

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