Seth Naman's story about the Salmon River kayak and raft race was almost as good as getting wet, but there's one point that bears correction ("Off the Pavement," June 5). Mr. Naman writes that "(t)he drainage basin of the Salmon River is almost completely covered by federally designated wilderness, making it one of the few streams in the region largely unimpaired by logging, agriculture or development."
His larger point, that the undamned wild Salmon River is one of our rich region's true treasure-chests, can't be emphasized enough. And it's true the river's health, and its ability to shelter those last spring chinook, stems largely from the fact that a lot of the Salmon River's flow (like Wooley Creek and the upper North Fork of the Salmon) descends from the high, snowy Marble Mountains, now protected as wilderness.
But the great tumbled-up heart of the Salmon River basin has been badly damaged by heavy logging and the roads built to haul the forests out. A disastrous cycle of clearcut logging, slash fires and salvage logging, courtesy of the Klamath National Forest, has left a lot of what used to be forests in fire-prone brushfields. Unfortunately, our Forest Service is still pumping out pointless old-growth logging projects that threaten the Salmon River, like the owl and salmon-killing Knob timber sale.
Scott Greacen, Executive Director,
Environmental Protection Information Center