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SUWA PEOPLE SHOULD SPEAK TRUTH

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When it was announced that the Fredonia sawmill that employed 200 workers was going to shut down, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance figured prominently in press reports on the matter. SUWA attorney Heidi McIntosh was quoted as saying that "sur-rounding communities cannot continue to depend upon timbering."' SUWA issues coordinator Ken Rait had more wisdom to impart. He said "there's not a lot of timber left to cut" and that the Kaibab Plateau is "a lousy place to grow 2-by-4s."

Paul Young wrote to point out the cold-bloodedness of these two who make their living off of tax deductible donations acting as apologists for the extreme environmentalism that put these hard-working families on the unemployment lines when the forest, according to published reports, is growing 25 percent faster that it was being cut.Now one David Scholten has written to criticize Young for "failing to learn the facts" and "ignoring" the facts. Scholten also suggests that Young doesn't tell "the truth" because he "fails to learn the facts."

Let's see who is telling the truth. Scholten says in his letter that "there were no longer enough big trees left to cut on the Kaibab National Forest" and that "the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has never even worked on the Kaibab National Forest issues."

If SUWA has had nothing to do with the Kaibab, then why do its mouthpieces attempt to sound so knowledgeable about what occurred there? Either Scholten does not know what he is talking about or Rait was talking about something he had no knowledge of. One or the other is blowing smoke.

What about Scholten's comment that there are no big trees left? Information direct from the North Kaibab Ranger District proves that not only is the forest growing 25 percent faster than it was being cut, but there are now more big trees than when the original timber survey was done in 1910 and, in fact, there are more trees in every size class than in 1910. This verdant growth is due to fire suppression over the past 80 years. The forest district also indicates that if harvesting is not continued, management by nature will certainly mean catastrophic events such as massive beetle kill or conflagration or both. Of course these are the preferred management tools of the extreme, anti-industry environmentalists.

It appears that Scholten and his friends in SUWA are the ones who should start telling the truth.

Lilly Mae Noorlander

Moab