Adam Smith, the world's first economist, pointed out that there is no wealth until someone takes something from the earth, makes something from it and sells it to someone else. That, rather elegantly stated, points out the concept that raw materials, agriculture, timber, mining and drilling are the foundation of any economy.
Considering that we are in the worst economic downturn since Jimmy Carter, President Barack Obama's decision to put national forest resources out of bounds by banning new road construction in those forests, and this paper's applauding that action ("Timely Ban," June 3 editorial) is nothing but stupid. Jobs in mining, timbering and drilling are good, high-paying (often union) jobs.
Wilderness is not all it is cracked up to be. Life in the wilderness is "cruel, brutish and short." Roads into the wilderness first used for timber mining or drilling eventually provide access into "pristine" areas for hikers, hunters, fishermen and off-road vehicles. The commercial use of the roads is rarely more than a few years, and the Forest Service has rather strict regulations on construction methods for long-term protection of the environment.
CRAIG B. CLEMMENS