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third party movements before it, the Citizens Party endeavored to have a broad base of support and become a viable political force in this state. However, the Texas group has unfortunately lacked basic organizing skills, has not had a democratically-run decision making process, and has been unable to even raise money to pay their organizers’ salaries. Part of the problem stems from the dogmatic approach of their state-wide organizer, Bob Poteet. He has stayed mainly in Austin, but refuses to involve the Citizens Party in any coalition effort unless the coalition agrees to distribute literature for and encourage membership in the Citizens Party. He has ruffled the feathers of several of Austin’s activist groups, particularly the Barton Creek Association, the Austin Neighborhood Fund and a local utility-rate reform group. Probably the biggest problem with the Austin Citizens Party group is that meetings are infrequent, and when they occur the agenda is limited, debate and decision-making are kept to a minimum, and group input where future organizing activity is concerned is nonexistent. The statewide Citizens Party is sorely lacking the advice and counsel of seasoned political activists, and this deficit will probably doom the Citizens Party in Texas, if not nationwide. In Austin, most of the Citizens Party members are completely unaware of Poteet’s activities and are unaware that he has given their group a public relations black eye with the very organizations that would make up a Citizens Party constituency. As one disgruntled former Citizens Party supporter said, “It’s this kind of individual that we don’t need in politics when we are trying to tighten the delicate lines of common po litical interest between us. That kind of egocentric behavior does not allow the kind of decision-making process that can include a large number of people.” Noel Levy Austin A word from the industry The idea that monoculture growing of pines is somehow detrimental to the environment [Obs., Nov. 14] is a shibboleth that ought to be put to rest now and forever more. It ranks right up there with such counter-culture cliches as “pesticides are poison,” “natural is best” and a crock of others which serve as rallying cries for those given to “intellectual chic.” Plantation planting of pines is the companion to clear-cutting, the wholesale clearing of 200 to 300-acre tracts. And clear-cutting is the alternative to “selection-cutting,” or reaping pine from the same timber patch continuously. Unlike selection-cutting, clear-cutting does not depend on natural regeneration and is more like farming. Twenty-five to 40 years after planting, a tract of several hundred acres is harvested, cleared off completely and burned, plowed and then re-sown in genetically superior pine seedlings. The advantage of clear-cutting is that three times as much pine timber can be grown in half the time it takes with conventional harvesting methods such as selection-cutting. And with the U. S. Forest Service predicting a timber shortage sometime around or after the turn of the century, greater production of timber is imperative. It is especially important in the Southern Pine Belt, which is seen as the “salvation” for this shortage because of its potential productivity . . . . Environmentalists have legitimate concerns about wildlife protection and prevention of stream sedimentation from clear-cutting runoff. Yet, in my experience, they are so self-righteous that they often refuse to see the trees for the forests, as it were. And what should be a rational concern often degenerates for them into a highly-charged emotional “cause” to be rallied to . . . . For their part, big timber companies and private landowners must practice responsible policy. This includes limiting the size of the clear-cut areas, maintaining trees along streams, establishing vegetation cover along logging roads and leaving timber along ridges and streams for wildlife and prevention of stream sedimentation. There is no reason why clear-cutting or monoculture pine plantations should be incompatible with the aims of either environmentalists or tree growers if the matter is approached rationally. But it will not be so in our time as long as environmental ideologues make clear-cutting a rallying cry for opposition and reduce it to the level of trendy counter-culture cliches. Jeff Holladay Oklahoma City P.S. I much enjoyed the article on labor. And I sadly lament that the author was right about its regression in Okieland. Jeff H. \(NOTE: Mr. Holladay is information director of the Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture. Enclosed with his letter was a press release entitled “Botanist, Tree Expert Says Clearclassified_ COMMUNITY ORGANIZERSACORN needs organizers to work with low and moderate income families in 16 states for political and economic justice. Direct action on neighborhood deterioration, utility rates, taxes, health care. Tangible results and enduring rewardslong hours and low pay. Training provided. Contact ACORN, 503 West Mary, FREEWHEELING BICYCLES. 2404 San Gabriel, Austin. For whatever your bicycle needs. THE SAN ANTONIO Democratic League meets the first Thursday of each month. For information, call Jim Bode at 344-1497. SEEK Railroad timetables, lanterns, local Texas history, Confederacy. view PC’s. Visit Von Blon Book Stoar, 1111 Colcord, Waco, Texas 76707. POTTERY & BASKETS. Ancient Indian BACKPACKING MOUNTAINEERING -RAFTING. Outback Expeditions, P.O. 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Send $7.95 to Buying, Renting & Borrowing in Texas, 2505 Stratford, Austin 78746. Classified advertising is 30 per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12month period: 25 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 10%. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23