Letter from Ann Basker

Southern Oregon Resources Alliance
Grants Pass, Oregon

Dear President Bush,

Southern Oregon Resources Alliance is a community-based citizen group which held its first meeting in January 1977. Prompted by Congressional wilderness bills relating to the Siskiyou National Forest, the group’s original thrust—community education, and informed local participation in land use decisions—remains its primary purpose as a non-profit corporation. It is sora’s basic premise that Man as part of the environment depends on natural resources for economic independence and recreation. sora believes that protection of the environment is essential and can be effectively combined with utilization and development of our resources to provide both jobs and recreational opportunities.

In states such as Oregon, which is over 50% publicly owned—some counties are as high as 90% in public ownership—it is essential that local people be heard by decision makers as more and more pressure is applied for single uses—wilderness, wildlife or botanical preserves, etc.—at the expense of the eminently sensible and productive multiple use concept for public lands. Multiple use allows everyone a piece of the pie—miners, hikers, timber fallers, hunters, cattle grazers, picnic parties—all of us are able to get what we need from the land yet leave it for other users as well.

In addition to the newsletter and regular monthly meetings, major activities will continue to include:

  1. Widespread participation in both usfs and blm planning processes, as well as state and local activity;
  2. Washington watch: numerous trips to Washington D.C. and Salem, local appearances by Congressmen, White House Staff, Administration Appointees (epa, ceq, etc.), state agencies;
  3. Workshops and conferences for interested citizens: detailed presentations about specific issues. For example in 1978 we did a 2 day session called “Man & The Environment: Is there Room for Us?” A follow-up session in 1987 was called: “Man and the Environment: The Owls are Ahead!” Other meetings have addressed spotted owls, wild & scenic river legislation, forest fire salvage, etc.;
  4. Downtown business community involvement. Our board members are bankers, retailers, local government officials, superintendent of schools, miners, timber operators and retirees. Our offices are shared with the Chamber of Commerce and Rogue Community College so we have a strong Community Base;
  5. Demonstrations when all else fails to reach our legislators! Most exciting example: The Silver Fire Round-Up—August 27, 1988—Over 1,300 log trucks from 6 states converged on Grants Pass for a show of solid support for salvaging the burned timber in the Siskiyou National Forest. It is being salvaged!

Ann Basker
Executive Director

Ann Basker, Southern Oregon Resources Alliance, “Letter to President Bush” in The Wise Use Agenda: A Task Force Report Sponsored by the Wise Use Movement, ed. Alan M. Gottlieb (Bellevue, 1989), 141–42.