LETTER: Ron Richards will represent all the people, not just timber interests

In 2013, under Clallam County commissioner candidate Randy Johnson’s leadership, Green Crow Corp. negotiated the large Foothills land exchange with the state Department of Natural Resources.

That exchange traded mature state DNR-managed timber stands for mostly cut-over Green Crow land.

Green Crow got 35 million board feet of harvestable timber, which increased in value by about 32 percent, according to DNR, immediately after the sale because DNR timber can’t be exported, while private timber can.

This timber, suddenly eligible for export, otherwise would have kept people in jobs at local mills.

In addition to harming local mills, the exchange helped cause an “arrearage” in DNR’s projected 10-year harvest plan.

Remarkably, after helping to create this arrearage, timber interests closely connected with Green Crow, through its representatives, began a public campaign blaming DNR for a loss of jobs at local mills and promoted the idea of an advisory committee to seek reconveyance of 92,525 acres of county trust lands from DNR to county management so, I believe, local timber companies such as Johnson’s would have more influence on harvest rates.

That effort folded when it became clear the county could not better manage the timber lands for the people.

Remember such undue influence distorts public policy and keeps our local economy struggling while wealthy timber investors get wealthier.

Randy Johnson is the chairman and a stockholder of Green Crow.

Ron Richards, a true independent, will represent all the people and promote a balanced set of economic opportunities that will support the whole community.

Peter Vanderhoof,

Port Angeles