Another month, another paper mill gone. The loss of the mill in Madison marks a watershed moment. If the demand for paper is so low, does the U.S. really need to import any paper from outside its borders? Are jobs in Indonesia and China more important than jobs here?

The answer to both questions is no, for a couple of reasons.

The rain forests around Indonesia and the woodlands in Russia are both fragile ecosystems. The chance that the cutting taking place in those areas is being done in a sustainable, responsible manner is zero. They are likely engaged in ecological butchery and may be contributing heavily to global warming, possibly polluting the water and abusing the workers.

That U.S. companies buy any paper from Indonesia and China is nothing short of criminal. The attorney general should be looking into it.

For me, the main reason for banning paper imports is because the area cannot afford to lose any more private sector jobs. Between advancing technology and poor trade agreements, America has lost so many jobs that the country is poised on the brink of fiscal anarchy.

If the nation’s multi-trillion dollar debt ever walks through the door and manifests itself as fiscal reality, it is going to be a really bad day.

In Maine, forestry is a clean, pretty well-regulated, sustainable industry. All remaining vestiges of that industry should be protected fiercely.

Andy Bennett, Buckfield

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