In this issue, we write about the still unfolding scandal in the Oregon State University College of Forestry. It is meticulously researched and, we hope a thoughtfully written assessment of the so-called “Donato controversy”—a lamentable if not inexcusable act orchestrated from the shadows by at least two OSU professors and one Forest Service scientist.
That the shoddy and misdirected work of two graduate students—aided by instructors and advisors with antiforestry biases—could suddenly trump the quite-visible results of 75 years of on-the-ground experience with salvage logging and replanting bears testimony to the country’s poisonous political climate. And lest you think all’s fair in love and war, consider how you might react on learning that experiments in cancer research were being corrupted for political purposes.
It will take you some time to get though our essay, perhaps even a couple of readings. But as you wade through the mountain of information we’ve assembled, ask yourself this question: why did this investigation fall to a very small non-profit forestry foundation when either of Oregon’s major dailies – the Portland Oregonian or the Eugene Register-Guard—could have more easily unearthed the same information we’ve gathered over the last five months? That they didn’t bears witness to the infectious pus now oozing from the pages of many of this nation’s daily newspapers.