Letters to the editor

Protect park land and riparian corridors

SOU students taking planning issues are conducting a riparian area inventory for the City of Ashland using GPS, GIS, and digital photography. Students are also reading "Nature Friendly Communities &

Habitat Protection and Land Use Planning" (Duerksen Snyder, 2005) which details best practices and case studies describing successful programs.

Students noted that many successful open space and natural resource protection programs rely on conservation easements for land protection. Lands with easements include areas of ground water recharge, watersheds, riparian areas, endangered species habitat, or simply open spaces or parks. Oregon uses many of the "tools" in the book, but there is little reliance on conservation easements.

Citizens of southern Oregon are fortunate that the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) can assist with conservation easements. The nonprofit SOLC holds conservation easements for private owners to protect conservation values on their land, and on public lands to assure citizens that conservation values are respected by future government officials. Locally Jacksonville's woodlands and Ashland's Siskiyou Mountain Park and Oredson-Todd woods have conservation easements held by the SOLC.

There is a proposal in Ashland to trade a portion of park land near Wrights Creek for another on Clay Street that would become a park. The trade reduces the Wrights Creek parkland to eight acres.

If this trade takes place, the Parks Commission should act to protect the remaining eight acres (or more) and the riparian corridors through a conservation easement. I know just the organization to help them &

the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.

Pat Acklin

Editor's note: Pat Acklin is an Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Southern Oregon University and a Board member of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.

City not friendly to business

What is wrong with the thinking of the business leaders in Ashland city government? We have a struggling local and national economy, empty retail spaces in town, astronomical rents, and yet they chase away a viable business.

The Mobius music venue has been hassled since it opened its doors at its old 4th St. address. It seemed they had solved the zoning problems by moving downtown on Lithia Way into the Mojo Rising building that was developed originally for the Mojo to be a bar and music venue. However, as soon as The Mobius moved its operations, out of the woodwork came a whole new host of problems: no alcohol allowed (even though it had been in every other business situated there); new zoning issues including being told by the fire inspector that they were not allowed to be an "assembly hall" &

and who knows what else?

Well, it seems the city has&

finally succeeded in its goal of driving The Mobius out of business. As an Ashland citizen who thrived on the diverse music and events put on by The Mobius, I'm clearly upset. As an Ashland resident who wants our city to be intelligent and business-savvy, I'm utterly perplexed at our government's behavior.

What could our city leaders be thinking?

Richard Browne

Kudos to all involved in the SOU flag exhibit

The flags that whipped in the wind on the lawn of the SOU campus a few weeks ago were definitely a picture worth a thousand words! Kudos to those who created the idea, to the university administrators for the use of their prominent site, to the local sponsors who took on the moxey, and the volunteers who physically set out this image.

Without doubt, this pithy impact resonates the horror of Bush's war in Iraq. Therefore, vote democratic.

Marilyn Briggs

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