Tag Archives: Big Timber

Timber Unity Isn’t

A small number of rural residents who are funded by timber and fossil fuel corporate money have been able to amplify their voices beyond their size. They claim timber unity is their goal, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. The corporate founders behind Timber Unity have spent millions on high-priced attorneys to prevent their workers from having safe and decent work. They have fought several unionization efforts at their mills. It is difficult to understand how they can claim to speak for a group whose rights they routinely seek to impinge.

Their current crusade is to fight the State’s effort to invest in a future for the next generation of Oregonians. They are targeting any and all efforts to reduce carbon pollution in Oregon. This should not be too surprising since they have close ties to the 11 Republican Senators who walked out to stop the bill last year and again this session. These 11 Senators received more than 65% of their funding from corporations, including fossil fuel giant Koch Industries.

While cap-and-invest isn’t the most enlightened approach to mitigate carbon pollution, it is a method that should be supported by moderates of both political parties. The approach is a compromise, just as Obama’s Affordable Care Act was a compromise. In both cases, the compromise was rejected and weaponized by groups funded by the those who stood to lose billions on Wall Street.

Instead of blocking all efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in Oregon, Timber Unity should be asking their corporate donors how much they have invested in next generation low-carbon logging and transportation equipment. How much money taken from our rural

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Timber Spray Issue Lands in Rep. Lininger’s Lap

helicopter sprayQuality of life and one’s ability to live it free from unnecessary outside influence are the core of the Oregonian experience.

Clackamas County State Rep. Ann Lininger is now playing a key role for folks living in rural Oregon who find the tree farm sprayers and the agency that monitors them inflicting mayhem on their otherwise idyllic scene.

Rep. Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, is co-chairing a joint legislative committee addressing this issue. These people, and possibly some in our own county, will be looking to her and State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Southwest Portland, for help.

For years, the timber companies and the agency which oversees them — the State Department of Forestry — have been somewhat cavalier in their helicopter spraying of young timberlands. When faced with a choice — the isolated rural homeowner or the timber kings — guess who the agency tends to favor?

Enter legislators Lininger and Burdick. Both have timber in their district. Neither, however, lives in an affected area. It will be interesting to see how they resolve the situation in the face of Big Timber’s influence.