Letter: OSU must manage forests better

Letter: OSU must manage forests better

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Ah, Corvallis. You are blessed with an amazing forest in your backyard, where an expansive trail network provides opportunities to hike, run, mountain bike, walk the dog or just get away from it all. Unfortunately, outdoor recreation takes a back seat to forest research and logging in this forest and many of the best trails remain unsanctioned, largely underused or unknown, and last only until the chainsaws and logging trucks come. I am referring to the college-owned Mac-Dunn, of course.

In recent years there have been efforts to sanction and improve some of its trails, build new sections, and improve connectivity. These efforts should be applauded, yet during this same time even more trails were lost to logging operations.

Is it too much to expect that in this growing and vibrant city where people embrace outdoor recreation that our forest managers do the same? Is it truly necessary for OSU’s School of Forestry, a world-class institution, to fund itself by logging the forest surrounding our town?

I am not against responsibly managing this forest for research purposes and forest health, but I am advocating for an increased emphasis on recreation and wondering if too many trees are being cut.

The Mac-Dunn contributes significantly to our quality of life and well-being in this town. It’s time for Corvallis to realize its outdoor recreation potential and abandon the myth that logging must always be king in this forest, while outdoor recreation takes a back seat. Corvallis can do better. So can OSU.

Dan Roper

Corvallis (Oct. 19)

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