Our choice: Use forests for products, or breathe them as smoke

Ted Reiss
The Register-Guard

Last week Lincoln City hosted hundreds of policy-makers, including our state senators and representatives, at the annual Oregon Coastal Caucus Economic Summit. Its purpose was to discuss carbon cap-and-trade mechanisms and ways to reduce Oregon’s carbon footprint. The timing couldn’t have been more poignant: Catastrophic wildfires are ripping through Oregon’s forests, torching decades of carbon storage captured in trees and emitting concentrated levels of carbon and toxic pollutants into our airshed.

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Guest Opinion: Get ready for your ‘pack a day’ of summer smoke

Fire is becoming the major focus for this coming summer. Last year, millions of dollars in economic loss seemed to be the main concern to the valley, but we now know that smoke and its severe health implications is of much greater importance.

Forest fire smoke is extremely serious and it’s deadly. Just remember back to last summer when we endured seven continuous weeks of smoke. That has been compared to the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 50 or more days. Quite an experience for all the elderly, health challenged and children living in southwest Oregon. It’s a fact that many children and elderly ended up at their doctors or the ER.

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