Cooperation: the Key to Success
Recently in Oregon a bipartisan agreement of epic proportions has taken place. The heavily contested battle over old growth forests in Eastern Oregon has finally ended. The most recent saga of the argument has taken eight months and has produced a solution that both sides agree on. Environmental groups have argued for decades for the protection of old growth forests because of their ecological benefits. The timber industry, obviously, has been a thorn in the side of conservation. This argument has lasted for over three decades and with the help of Senator Ron Wyden an agreement has been made to ban the cutting of trees with a diameter of more than 21 inches, which protects watershed areas in eastern Oregon.
Of course the timber industry did not agree to this conservation effort without their own benefits. “Timber groups were promised steady, unimpeded access to younger trees as part of a broader program to assure the health of the forests and fire prevention.” With that said, this agreement is hopefully a sign of things to come. This has been a highly contested battle for thirty years and now both sides have agreed on a common ground. Extremism on either side of an issue is almost never productive, and President Obama has preached bipartisan cooperation for his entire political career. This recent agreement can give us hope that in the future we can get past the petty arguments and agree on what is best for the future on our planet.