Having been here throughout the long battle about log exports, let me supply some historical background.
During this war — and believe me, it was just that — the U.S. Forest Service’s timber was finally excluded from export, citing its responsibility to local communities for jobs and stability.
The Department of Natural Resources’ timber was another matter.
Bert Cole, the the lands commissioner, was instrumentalin in defeating Initiative 32, which would have stopped the export of timber managed for the counties by the state (DNR).
Even so, after some years, this practice finally ceased.
DNR, along with the Forest Service, endorsed the policy of keeping public logs at home for manufacturing.
Private trees — those now-exported logs — have always sought the highest price to benefit the stockholders of these companies.
The practice is market-driven, just as it is for other raw materials such as wheat, coal and apples in this state.
Clallam County commissioner candidate Randy Johnson is just one manager who has been doing what he is required to do, nothing more.
If elected, his background would be extremely valuable to ensure that our county timber, managed by DNR, provides a reliable source for job creation.
Along with this, should the Forest Service begin to act like a resource manager as it once was, not a caretaker, the results could be dynamic for timber in the long run throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Wiggins is a former mayor of Port Angeles and a retired forestry consultant.