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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:00 am


State selling off its forest stock

The state's Division of Forestry has been perverted by timber sales that are hurting the environment. This corrupt process turns our state foresters into tree farmers for private business at the expense of their highest public mission, saving our dying ecosystems by preserving natural native forests. The destructive process of culling stands of public forest for cheap lumber actually costs the state more than managing it like a savings account that accumulates compound value in environmental benefits.

The exploitation of “old forest area” has run its course, and we now face a global environmental emergency of carbon pollution so severe that scientists have identified it as the Anthropocene, where “human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” We have overcut our forests to the point that they no longer function as complete ecosystems.

Foresters are our heroes striving to save us, but they need a new forest management plan. Eliminating timber sales, concentrating on controlling invasive species, operating and supporting more nurseries for native trees and related plants, and expanding old forest area until we reach the end of the Anthropocene provides just service to Indiana and our national need to meet international climate goals.

Indiana's forest service should provide active education to bring us all together in concerted action to fight for our environmental lives. Contact your state representatives to stop the sale at the Salamonie River and Frances Slocum state forests. For updates, look up the Indiana Forest Alliance.

Howard Traxmor

Fort Wayne

Trash pickup for a song

A song for Red River Waste Solutions, to the tune of “Red River Valley”:

Come and pick up my trash if you love me.

Do not hasten to bid me adieu.

Just remember the Red River Valley

And the trash that is waiting for you.


Fort Wayne

Sins of a few can't tarnish church's works

Much is being written and aired about the sins of some priests and about church leaders who have failed to respond properly. 

As a Catholic, I feel the need to speak up in defense of my church. We, too, are angry that priests have done these things and that they were covered up. We, too, grieve for the victims. These actions do not reflect the love of God and of his people that is the very basis of our faith. This is not who we are and not how we want you to see us.

We are proud of our church and of all that has been done by its members in sharing God's word, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and elderly, teaching children and providing homes for the homeless throughout the world.

We ask you to remember the good that has been done and the many, many priests and people who have represented and continue to lead our church well. Now they face the mission of bringing healing and restoring trust. We are not perfect, but we do want to do the right thing.

One of my favorite Mother Teresa stories describes a brief encounter with a reporter. He asked her, “People are calling you a living saint. How do you feel about that?” Her quick response was both honest and challenging. She said, “I'm trying, son, how about you?”

We deeply regret and apologize for the great harm that has been done. Please don't let it overshadow the good my church does and will always continue to do.

We will not allow the sins of some to defeat the faith and love and hope that drives us in our efforts to make God's world a better place for all.

Freddie Samuel

Fort Wayne