To the Editor:

When campaigners against land mines ask an audience how many land mines will discourage people from working a field, they usually get an answer of one or close to it. The answer is none. The fear of a land mine will keep people from any area. Similarly, the fear of bone-crushing animal traps will keep people away from areas where they might otherwise wish to go.

Among the delights of childhood for many of us was the fun of running in a forest and hiding behind trees or running free in a meadow or along a riverbank. Now that we know dangerous animal traps could be located in these places, fear will preclude our allowing children (and tourists?) to enjoy these once-innocent pleasures in many of Oregon's more scenic places.

A trap-setter announced that he likes to locate his traps in blackberry bushes even though some unsuspecting person discovering such a source of delicious fruit might make a beeline for them and get something he or she never bargained for.

Proponents of trapping, defending themselves against recent campaigning opposed to animal traps in Oregon, have trotted out the usual "tradition" argument which has little to no virtue. There are good traditions and others definitely not. Lynching of black Americans for some perceived impertinence was a tradition practiced by Klansmen and cowardly accomplices in the Deep South, but it has been well relegated to our national closet of shame. Animal trapping should be next for that dishonorable status.

Bill Bodden


To the Editor:

I am writing in response to an article in last week's paper regarding a get-together for local backpackers ("Local backpackers to gather for show-and-tell," The Nugget, March 14, page 10).

Paula Berry sounds like an experienced backpacker. However, I must clear up a statement regarding "the first known single-season hike of the entire PCT" having been accomplished in 1980 with an 80-pound pack.

A friend and I hiked the trail in 1976, which was the first year the entire trail was officially opened. We hiked from California to Canada. On the trail we met a guy from Salem named Scott Williams. Unlike us, Scott hiked the entire trail by himself. We finished our hikes together at the Canadian border. On the last day, all three of us took off alone to finish the hike at our own pace with private thoughts. None of our packs ever weighed more than 60 pounds.

It was the experience of a lifetime.

Rick Cole


To the Editor:

You must be kidding.

I have never voted against a school bond in my life, nor complained about school tax rates.

But with this news "Schools to seek full time athletic director," The Nugget, March 14, page 1, I am no longer a vote you can count on. Not saying I won't vote for the next bond, but not saying I will either.

We can't fund enough teachers, but we're hiring an athletic director for a high school?! How about a recruiter. How about a community liaison so the athletes can relate better to the community?

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky but maybe I'm not. Maybe this is just a really silly use of our money.

Glenn Brown