Writing a Letter to the Editor

Often what you have to say about a timber harvest plan is on the emotional side and may have nothing to do with the text of the plan itself. You might not feel qualified to comment on the science, might not understand the terms. Like so many people, you could believe that, no matter what you write, the people who have the power to change the timber harvest plan are not going to listen. You could be correct; but you should submit your comments anyway. Cal Fire is only required to respond to and consider comments on the legal text of the THP. But they will still know you are there, one of a large group of people who disagree with their treatment of a place that you love.

And this is when it is so important to also send your letter to a local newspaper or two. Letters to the editor are a time-honored tradition of political engagement. Being published sends a signal to our legislators that this is an important topic. In the end, the battle could be won in the court of public opinion, but the public must actually know enough about what is happening to have an opinion. Send your comments to Cal Fire and all the other addresses on the THP concerned, but then email it to your local newspaper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to address the fine points of one section or another of a document you can’t even download. You just have to speak your peace. Be respectful. Don’t demonize others, even if you are angry. One last thing to note- Most papers have a limit of 200 words or less for letters to the editor.

Press emails to get you started:

  • Fort Bragg Advocate and Mendocino Beacon: editor@advocate-news.com
  • Willits News: editorial@willitsnews.com
  • Santa Rosa Press Democrat: letters@pressdemocrat.com