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Good ideas exist; we just have to find them


Herald and News Letter to the Editor May 31, 2011 by Dennis Jefcoat, Chiloquin

followed by responses by Steve Kandra, Merrill farmer, and Mark Slezak, timber industry.


I cannot legitimately disagree with anyone who voted for or against the jail levy.

Those who voted for the levy did so out of fear the criminals in our community are destroying our way of life and tarnishing Klamath County's reputation.

Those who voted against the levy did so because they lack confidence in our elected county officials to resolve the issue of funding law enforcement for the long term.

Before the levy election, the county commissioners refused to discuss in public their plan "B" if the levy failed and refused to discuss long-term funding of law enforcement or for that matter seriously study how we are going to economically rebuilt Klamath County so tax increases are not necessary.

In five months of attending every Tuesday commissioners' public meeting, there has been only one presentation on bringing in new businesses to our community.

The commissioners have forgotten that both business and hardworking citizens are the source of job growth and increased tax revenue. What we need out of the commissioners is creative funding solutions that work for most citizens and do no harm.

Example: Why are we giving away, at public expense, 90,000 acres of the Mazama Tree Farm, via the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, when the county could purchase the land and manage all aspects of timber and biomass production for the benefit of all citizens of Klamath County?

The county could contract with local private companies to manage, harvest wood and materials or plant trees on this land for the benefit of all citizens.

The profits would help fund the county budget. The sheriff would have a nice place for inmate work crews to do useful work and help pay incarceration costs.

I would like to read in the H&N other citizens' creative ideas on this subject matter. The solutions are out there.


Previous letterís concepts about Mazama Tree Farm sale donít hold up

Herald and News Letter to the Editor June 7, 2011 by Steve Kandra, Klamath Falls

Dennis Jefcoat's May 31 letter, "Good ideas exist," implies some interesting concepts regarding the Mazama Tree Farm: Using public funds to purchase the Mazama Tree Farm is OK; taking the property value basis off the tax rolls is acceptable; local management and ownership of the tree farm is preferred; utilization of the resource should provide benefit to the residents of Klamath County.


Does Jefcoat propose a new tax or bond to purchase the property?

I am confused by Jefcoat's contradictory premise that the county is poorly managed, therefore we should give it more property to manage.

Why is acquisition of the tree farm by the Klamath Tribes, in part to settle long-standing water conflict, "giving away" the resource? The transaction has great value to the local economy in settlement, secures local ownership and provides local jobs.

Jefcoat implies that he is willing to compromise conservative principles regarding opposition to public funding to acquire private property and property tax base reduction, as long as acquisition of the property is not by the Klamath Tribes.

The glory days of the Klamath timber industry were when the Klamath Reservation existed - the county prospered and the Tribes prospered.

In our wisdom to terminate tribal assets and culture, we condemned the reservation and converted the lands to national forests - public lands with increasingly restrictive timber harvests and a decreasing source of revenue for the counties. Jefcoat's brainstorm is simply a public statement of prejudice and proposal to enlarge local bureaucracy.


Klamathís glory days of timber werenít during the reservation era


Herald and News Letter to the Editor 6/10/11 by Mark Slezak, Klamath Falls

While there are parts of Steve Kandra's June 7 letter that I might agree on, there are also parts that totally miss the mark for me.

The assertion that the "glory days" of Klamath timber industry were when the reservation existed is inaccurate and appears to be very self-serving in my opinion. The point is that some would say the "glory days of agriculture" were pre-water crisis.

Personally, I don't agree with either statement, having grown up around agriculture and now, of course, making a living in the timber industry. I believe that wood products and food production are pretty important and the economic impact of both are significant.

The Mazama Tree Farm is not all that important in my opinion under any ownership.

The lands have very little to offer with regards to timber production so that makes me wonder why they are so coveted in the water negotiations but I'll leave that one alone for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and Tribe to work on.

In the meantime, though, Steve should remember that not everyone supports his position or the negotiations that have lead to the Mazama Tree Farm's use in spending public money.

Additionally, it would have been very helpful for the agricultural industry to hold the line together instead of splintering into dissenting groups much like what happened to the timber industry. The result was public confusion over the issues and the perception for many of a self-serving approach to the solution.

Best of luck on all of this and I will simply continue to support both industries as they have and will be the backbone of Klamath County's economy.




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