I was disappointed by the timber industry's cynical but predictable response to the decision by local conservationists to leave Northeast Oregon's dysfunctional forest "collaborative." Wrapped in self-righteous language, it didn't take long to stoop to name-calling and tired old stereotypes that echoed another of Commissioner Susan Roberts' now-reliable tantrums. The industry response ignored legitimate concerns and drips with hypocrisy.

Lindsay Warness accused mainstream environmentalists of "taking their ball and going home." That's rich. Her byline shows she left long ago. But who can blame her? Industry interests are served whether they show up or not.

Don't be fooled. Warness' out-of-state bosses have operations as far away as Chile. They have one fundamental interest — profit.

The Trump administration is using distracting crises to undermine environmental protections all across America. Locally it's about getting rid of protections for old growth. As RY Timber turns its back on us and Hancock liquidates timber on its lands (sold off by Warness' bosses), industry has no choice but to turn its eyes and its hungry automated mills back towards our public lands — forests that are just beginning to recover from decades of unsustainable logging.

No wonder industry and its greenwashing friends are thrilled to rush along the process to cut big trees that have been off limits for 25 years. And no wonder credible conservationists weren't willing to lend their credibility to a complicit collaborative.

I commend the groups. With "partners" like Warness and Roberts, I only wonder, what took them so long?

Peter Barry

La Grande and Joseph

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