Repeat afer me: Natural systems are priceless in value, nearly impossible to replace, and cheap to maintain. All you have to do is protect them.

So intoned Stuart Brand, publisher of The Whole Earth Catalog, decades ago.

Now listen to [U.S. Rep.] Derek Kilmer.

He says he'll revisit a Senate-approved plan [Wild Olympics] that aims to save our Peninsula forests from further plunder.

Both [Sens.] Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell support the plan.

Will Kilmer, a child of a town whose lifeblood was the tinder industry, sacrifice trees to jobs?

I wrote to Derek citing, among others, Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, who in the interest of climate stabilization, has written of the need to end deforestation worldwide.

He and well-informed others know that forests sequester CO2 and help to control the growing accumulation of the same in the atmosphere–a menace to life on our planet.

Brown goes on to applaud a number of tree-planting initiatives proposed and/or under way.

I reminded Derek of 30 million trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early and mid 1930s–an effort driven by the need to create jobs.

At the time, soil health, the enhancement of animal and plant life, the purity of water supplies as well as the prevention of floods and mudslides were considered secondary–but should no longer be thought as such.

We live and learn. Do the right thing, Derek: Join Murray and Cantwell, and further down the line add a program of your own.

Think of jobs and environmental protection. Plant trees instead of cutting them down.

Todd Wexman,
Port Townsend