To the Editor: Re the excellent April 30 Op-Ed article by Mary Christina Olmsted and Chad Hanson opposing the Gorton-Hatfield "timber salvage" rider in a Senate appropriations bill: Salvage logging is based on the completely false premise that there is a "forest health crisis" caused by insects, disease and fire, and the solution is to cut down the forests to save them. The so-called crisis is a hoax foisted by the timber industry on the public, the press and Congress through constant repetition.
According to Arthur Partridge, professor of forest disease and insect problems at the University of Idaho, "forest disease and insect activity is at the lowest level in 28 years." Forest Service findings confirm there is no crisis (Forest Resources of the U.S., 1992" Department of Agriculture, July 1994).
In a letter to President Clinton, five leading forest and steam scientists said: "We know of no scienctific reason to engage in salvage logging or road building burned areas , and we know of many sound reasons not to. Logging produces no know benefits to the streams, and entails very serious risks."
Also, please call White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta's office at 202/456-6797. Ask that the White House work to remove the "logging without laws" provisions from H.R. 1158 and that they veto the bill if it remains in there. Both the House and Senate versions of this bill overturn all our environmental laws and allow major destruction of our National Forests. The President *must* get involved.