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The Gold Butterfly Timber Sale east of Corvallis is a deficit sale costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The BNF has over 2,000 miles of roads and is approximately $15 million  behind in maintenance, yet the Forest Service is building 40 miles of new roads. The Forest Service is “decommissioning” 22 miles of roads, yet the reality is only .9 mile of those roads need any decommissioning work done at all; they’re healing themselves.

The Forest Service could have chosen Alt. 3, which had support of many locals. It met the Purpose and Need, was proposed by the Forest Service, and had 4,000 log truck loads. It avoided cutting old growth and building roads, and had local support. It was a compromise. Instead the Forest Service will build more roads, log old growth and resume clear cuts.

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It’s unclear who will pay for road maintenance on Willow Creek or if restoration will occur. The Ravalli Republic quotes Forest Service officials as saying, "The restoration work proposed in the project will be dependent on funding.” Also, the Forest Service will “Pursue outside funding sources to maintain and fix the road.” Logging will proceed, yet restoration and road work — who knows. Who knows how much it will cost county residents? The Forest Service won’t give an answer.

Given climate change and the perilous state of wildlands, more logging/road-building seems ill-advised. After decades of road building and chainsaws, wildlands continue to suffer. More of the same is not the answer. It’s imperative we chart a new course.

— Gary Milner, Corvallis

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