Letter: Consider Ascot's proposal
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Bob Dingethal's July 13 letter, "Risk of pollution outweighs jobs," opposing Ascot Resources' exploration plans, misses the point. In fact, it is possible to balance environmental protection and economic development. If Southwest Washington is to thrive, we need to strike that balance.
Unfortunately, Dingethal's Portland-based Gifford Pinchot Task Force sees it as an "either or" proposition. They choose to block forest development, from logging to mining, and over the past decade their efforts have impacted the region's economy.
The BLM, after an exhaustive environmental review of Ascot's proposed exploration, came to a different conclusion and saw that environmentally sound exploration can work in harmony with protecting the forest.
People who live here know that the local economy is hurting. Folks are looking to explore any economic opportunity. Ascot may be a solution and they may not, but first Ascot needs to see if they have an economically significant mineral deposit.
As Ascot's community liaison, I believe this community deserves to see if Ascot has an opportunity without the task force blocking the way. And if and when Ascot takes the next step to developing a mine plan then the task force should weigh in constructively to help find the balance between economic development and the environment.