Reader believes article questioned a former forest supervisor’s allegiance

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Letter to the Editor,


Anti-government indeed.

The recent interview of former KNF Supervisor Jim Rathbun left me with some questions for the editor.

Where did you come up with the question asking Mr. Rathbun if his attempts to correct a failed Agency in which he once held leadership position might be construed as the comments of an anti-government activist. Why would you choose such an emotionally charged, Southern Poverty Law Center coined, phrase to characterize Mr. Rathbun’s comments?   

Advocating for better government does not make one “anti-government,” it is a very pro-government, pro-American, sentiment that wants government to work better for the people it serves. Jim Rathbun has the credentials, after many years of government involvement, of the quintessential pro-government advocate.

If you had attempted to argue any of the valid points Mr. Rathbun brought up, you would have failed. He is articulate, intelligent, educated … and right on point. You would have failed while maintaining the respect of your conservative readership.

I worked for a lot of years with old-school forest stewards like Mr. Rathbun, under Mr. Rathbun even, in both government and private industry. These men and women were proud of the work they did and the contributions to society that came from proper management of our natural resources. They had education and reason to back their actions.

So, when faced with the argument that today’s USFS policies are harming forest health, you just throw out veiled allegations of anti-government activism in an attempt to discredit without point by point analysis of the argument. 

I expect better out of the editor of The Western News than a shallow and superficial ambush. 

You have every right to promote your liberal agenda. I think you have an obligation to do so openly, without subterfuge, because of your position as editor. 

A little intellectual honesty goes a long ways.  

          — D.C. Orr


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