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Letters and Emails

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Letters to the Editor

Earth Island Journal
2150 Allston Way #460
Berkeley, CA 94704

Thank you for the insightful and informative story about the impact climate change is having on Native American communities (“Losing Home,” Spring 2017). People need to realize that these impacts are very real. They’re not some part of a possible future. They are happening right now, and they will only get worse unless we wise up. The people you have written about in the Pacific Northwest have done nothing wrong. Nothing at all. Yet they are in very serious danger, and many are actually being forced by the impacts of climate change to give up traditional homes and move en masse. We are fools if we don’t respond by doing all we can to transition away from fossil fuels. The actions of the Trump Administration – subverting science, denying our role in causing this mess, over-exploiting oil and coal, and lying about the impacts – are criminal. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Stephen Robinson
Olympia, WA

A Senseless Tragedy

I was touched by Miranda Brandon’s depictions of birds just after the moment of fatal contact with windows (“Built in Peril,” Spring 2017). This compelling imagery is a work whose time has come – even one unnecessary bird death is too many, but one billion is an outrage!

Hani Boeck
North Sutton, NH

Transforming Urban Hearts

Better with Beavers” (Spring 2017) was a really good article bringing folks up to date about beaver-led restoration work in the Pacific Northwest. I always look forward to seeing great restoration work in our urban areas, especially where we have encroached into the 500-year floodplains, streambeds, and former riparian corridors. In the Great Northwest, urban local government needs to step up its salmon recovery commitments, especially through repurchase of floodplain lowlands where beavers will invest their time and energy. If the salmon do return, I am sure it will be because of beaver-led habitat restoration and improved access to streams and rivers. Like the author, I constantly wonder how to motivate and transform urban hearts – especially those of policymakers, property owners, and neighborhood groups – on this essential issue.

Patrick Russell
Scappoose, OR

Exceeding Capacity

Thank you for the great article about how partnerships with beavers are helping to restore watersheds in the Pacific Northwest (“Better with Beavers”). I’ve come across many beavers over the years as they’ve reclaimed their former territory in Maine. One thing I’d like to stress: Populations can exceed capacity. That’s one more reason to support and reintroduce predators high on the food chain.

Grail Bahlkow
North Yarmouth, ME

Education and Inspiration

Washington State just elected a new commissioner of public lands, Hilary S. Franz, who is an environmental attorney. She said in an interview recently that the agency needs more funding to better manage wildfires and restore the health of forests that are in poor shape. I sent her a link to Earth Island Journal’s article “The War Against Wildfire” (Autumn 2016), which I found informative and hopeful. You educate and inspire your readers – maybe we can each educate and inspire our elected officials.

Kalyn Gabriel
Deming, WA


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