Letters to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Prescribed burn started during critical time for forest creatures

The wildlands fire started in the midst of a drought by forestry agencies June 15 has another ominous perspective. This "prescribed burn" was started during the nesting and rearing season of our wildlife and birds. Even the youngest child understands that spring and early summer is the sensitive life stage of creatures. Can it be true that our highly college educated officials lack this common knowledge?

The land management equation must include the critical concept of reproductive strategy of diverse creatures who reside in habitats slated for alteration. Sustainability requires that biology, behavior and ecology of fish, wildlife and birds need the front seat in the habitat decision making process.

To purposely choose to burn a forest down when young wildlife are just being born or when baby birds in their nests are unable to fly and escape is unacceptable, barbaric and a pathetic display of our civilization.

Prescriptions can be deadly. The aware human intellect has the potential of including conscientious design and compassion in our prescribed land decisions. It is human responsibility, as conscious stewards, to grasp this potential and manifest it on earth for all life forms.

Nancy Hillstrand


Christian inmate at Wildwood seeks support of other believers

This is an open letter to the born-again Christians in the Kenai-Soldotna area. I write from inside the double, razor-wire topped fences of your local state prison.

I have been housed here at Wildwood Correctional Center for three months, awaiting transfer to the private prison in Arizona. I have been a Christian, sometimes victorious and other times defeated, for 16 1/2 years. To my shame, nine of those years have been spent "inside the walls." Yet I am uplifted by the fact that most of that time, I have been blessed by the ministry and support of the body of believers in the surrounding community, wherever imprisoned.

This open letter, sadly, is not reflective of those edifying memories. I have been distressed by the lack of concern I am experiencing while passing through Wildwood. Whether this is indicative of an unbelieving administration, a less than committed chaplaincy or an unconcerned community, I will not hazard to address. I can and will say this: The Scriptures plainly state, "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners ..." (Hebrews 13:3a). The Lord Jesus Himself gave notice that a vital part of the ministry of His body, the church, would be those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46).

There are a blessed few who have faithfully heeded this call. One of those was recently suspended after 15 years of ministry, due to an unfortunate lapse in judgment. Yet, for seven of the 12 Sundays that I have been here, we have been left to our own devices, with regard to hearing the Word and worshipping in song.

This has engendered a sort of spiritual anarchy among those who name Jesus as Lord. Nevertheless, we "soldier on." Yet it should not be so!

Though I am a less than convincing example, I know that the best rehabilitative dynamic in the world is a relationship with the risen Saviour! And babes in Christ should not be left to starve. Thus, brother or sister in the Lord, if you read this and are burdened, do speak to your pastor about this critical issue. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Maranatha!

John K. Hamilton

Wildwood Correctional Center


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