Letter to the editor: Cartoon incorrect; artist should research better

I am writing in response to Mike Peters' editorial cartoon in the Wednesday, August 28th Daily News showing President George W. Bush wanting to clear out all the nation's forests. Now Mike, do a little research and common sense thinking before you draw something like this.

President Bush's plan is not for clear-cutting forests, it is merely to allow logging companies to clear out dead trees and undergrowth in national parks and forests in order to prevent the kinds of wildfires that ravaged Colorado, Arizona, and nearly every other western state this summer. This is essential to strike a balance between the natural fire cycle of our forests, the interests of those who live within them and the millions who visit our nation's wilderness areas each year.

Thanks to environmentalist groups throwing a fit every time a logging company or private group wants to clear out the deadwood in a forest, millions of acres of forests were destroyed this summer in record-setting wildfires.

Logging companies need these forests for the survival of their businesses, so of course they're not going to clear cut any forests. Every felled tree is replaced by planting more. Don't believe me? In a Mar. 26, 2002 article in the Los Angeles Times, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore said, "In fact, there is about the same amount of forest cover today as there was 100 years ago, even though we consume more wood per capita than any other region in the world."

That's not Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan or President Bush, that's a co-founder of Greenpeace stating fact.

And finally, this legislation was already on the books, but only in one state. In late July, a prominent senator slipped language into a supplemental spending bill that exempted his home state from environmental lawsuits for the sake of allowing logging companies to do the exact same thing Bush proposed. This language also denied "judicial review" to those who seek to challenge it (meaning, you can't sue the logging companies). The only difference was, he did it quietly, and no one raised a finger in the press or in any environmental groups.

The state: South Dakota. The Senator: Democrat Majority Leader Thomas Daschle.

So do a little research and thinking before you publish something like this. Smokey would not be happy.

Gordon Heck


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