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How are Crabs and Elk Alike? 


The article "Changing Tides" (Dec. 17) reveals that our government officials have the capacity to protect human health and safety, as well as livelihoods. Senator McGuire lauded the crabbers' decision to put people before profits. The crabbers say that they are used to an occasional "bump in the road," this time caused by natural conditions. Gov. Brown's office will be considering compensation to support these families through these troubled times.

Contrast this to the government-sponsored tyranny in Elk River: a two decades-long public policy that assures timber profits while purposefully harming targeted people. Public and private properties are being decimated here as a proven result of timber harvesting, yet Sen. McGuire hasn't appealed to the governor for relief for us damaged victims.

While the crabbers consider their present misfortune as a "bump in the road" the Elk River community endures oppression that is the road ("Headwaters Forest at 10," Feb. 6 2009). What if the crabbing industry was being explicitly destroyed by public policies? Their bump in the road would be a mountain of hurt.

Humboldt Redwood Company's timber harvest activities in Elk River pervert a river of thriving salmon into a polluted waste ditch, contaminating water, and annihilating apple orchards and crops. The absentee owner, John Fisher, also owns the Oakland A's and The Gap. When wealthy men demand profits over people, our government cowers from its duty to protect.

We're relieved to see that our Senator McGuire recognizes the hardships faced by hard-working crabbers in Eureka. Does he recognize the hardships faced by hard-working families in Elk River?

Or will decades of rapacious logging just be accepted as the new normal?

Jesse Noell, Elk River

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