As a rancher in Jacksonville, I am concerned the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's cougar plan may very well be putting my livestock, operation and way of life at great risk.
As part of the plan, the department is aggressively killing cougars throughout Oregon. But such non-selective, expansive lethal control will only increase damage from cougars to livestock.
A recent study by the Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory at Washington State University reveals that indiscriminate killing of cougars through trophy hunting and actions like those being taken by the ODFW exacerbate conflicts with cougars.
According to the WSU study, such widespread killing of the big cats has caused the region's cougar numbers to decline, created social chaos within cougar populations and escalated encounters with cougars.
Why? Adult male cougars, who tend to avoid people, act as a stabilizing force in cougar populations. They police large territories and kill or drive out young males. By removing those cougars that are more wary of people, the ODFW is opening up turf for younger, more aggressive cougars to move in.
That is why many local farmers and ranchers have urged Senator Alan Bates to use his position as chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee to lead an effort to halt the ODFW cougar plan. Our livelihoods depend on Senator Bates taking swift action.
You can't blame it on the Democrats
In her Nov. 6 Ashland Daily Tidings letter Sharon Spalding laments that "John McCain shot himself in the foot when he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate."
Hey, McCain and the Republican Party had already done this to themselves long before dear sister Sarah appeared on the scene.
Too, the Christians and church people who blindly sucked up to the GOP and ignored and rejected the Constitution Party — thus placing politics above principle — are likewise largely to blame for Obama getting elected. Also gun owners, so called "pro-lifers" etc. Therefore they get the type of government they rightly deserve!
Perhaps Chuck Baldwin states it best in his commentary today at www.chuckbaldwinlive.com titled, "Conservatives Lost More Than An Election."
Though I don't like using the words "Liberal vs. Conservative" and would instead prefer "Socialists vs. Constitutionalists," Chuck Baldwin asserts some valid points which are deliberately ignored by the Republican socialist elite. Democrats can't be blamed this time.
James A. Farmer
Thanks for supporting the library
Dear Citizens of Ashland,
We thank you for your recent vote to continue extended hours and services at Ashland Public Library. Due to your overwhelming support, the library will continue to provide services 40 hours a week, including Monday evenings and Sundays. It's meaningful that the ballot box where traffic came streaming on and before Nov. 4 is located right behind the library.
Your enthusiasm has made it the bustling community center it is today — a place for all children, adults and travelers to find information and sanctuary.
With a tough economy and winter bearing down, an open well-staffed library is more important than ever.
Haven't visited the library lately?
We invite you to come in and experience the warmth and the programs offered there. And feel free to donate your own gently used books. The Friends of Ashland Library's second Annual Fall Booksale and Silent Auction will take place Saturday, Nov. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. Your donations are welcome, and you can bid on beautiful gift baskets that are on display now.
The library's open and ready to serve you, regardless of who you are. You can also visit us and other branches of Jackson County Library online through the website at www.jcls.org.
Peter Gibb and Ann Magill
Committee to Open Ashland Library
Letters to the editor