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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Listeners tell us what they thought about our coverage of salmon in the Pacific Northwest and Europe's fears about genetically engineered foods. There were split opinions over our portrait of 96-year-old homesteader, Emma Buck.


CURWOOD: And now, comments from you, our listeners.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Michael Cosgrove, who hears us on KUOW in Seattle, says our report on endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest was very good, but he accuses us of one serious gaffe. "You say the spotted owl listing decimated many logging towns. On the contrary," he writes, "it is well known out here that the owl listing is only a minor player in what may be only hyperbolically called a decimation. A century of over-logging, automation, and exports have had a much greater impact. The logging companies would be happy with your unfortunate aside about the owl listing."

Our feature on Emma Buck, the Illinois woman who at age 96 is still maintaining her family farm without any modern equipment or conveniences, prompted this call from Kristen Koumiss, a listener to KLCC in Eugene, Oregon.

KOUMISS: It was really inspiring. I think it would be wonderful if you'd let her know that there are tons of young people like myself out there that really admire her and would love to learn all the skills. And I hope that it does become a living history museum.

CURWOOD: On the other hand, Jon Phalen, who hears us on WUGA in Athens, Georgia, says if we were better historians, we wouldn't have given a rhapsodic eulogy to Ms. Buck's disappearing agrarian culture. "About the time that Ms. Buck was born," he writes, "the legions of small-scale eastern farmers were wrapping up one of history's most heinous environmental crimes: the total destruction of this continent's most significant forest. Ms. Buck's palaver about loving the land is a favorite one of farmers and loggers everywhere. I am less offended by such transparent deceit than I am by the sight of people falling for it who should know better."

And finally, this call from a Tennessee farmer, who asked that we not use his name on the air, but who wants us to know how he felt about our report on Europe's cool attitude toward genetically-engineered foods.

FARMER: Being against genetically-altered foods is like being against computers. Or it's like, "I won't ride a race horse because it was genetically engineered 200 years ago." That movement in Europe is nothing more but a trade barrier set up against American farm products.

CURWOOD: Your questions and comments are always welcome. Call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Or write Eight Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Our e-mail address is letters@loe.org. Once again, letters@loe.org. And visit our Web page at www.loe.org. Tapes and transcripts are $15.



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