LETTER: Vote for Ron Richards, who represents the people

Randy Johnson has tried to blame mill closures on the state, rather than on private timber companies like the one he has ties to.

In 2014, more than 94 million board feet of raw logs were shipped out of the Port of Port Angeles to mills in Asia, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

These raw-log exports have cost Clallam County hundreds of high-paying jobs and are the main reason so many local mills have shut down.

All these exported raw logs are coming off private lands.

Public trust lands, by federal law, cannot export raw logs.

Because the export market pays 25 percent to 50 percent more than domestic mills, timber operations are much more profitable for private timber companies than they are for the public trust lands that support our schools, hospitals, fire districts and public institutions.

I believe Clallam County commissioner candidate Randy Johnson has tried to hide his role in shipping jobs out of Clallam County by blaming the Department of Natural Resources for not cutting enough timber off public lands.

Johnson and his allies have for years tried to blame the DNR for mill closures, when in fact it is Green Crow and other private timber companies that are the root of the problem.

If Randy Johnson wins the election, he and another former Rayonier executive and current County Commissioner Bill Peach will be in a position to push the timber industry’s agenda at the expense of our community.

Exports help private timber companies. Exports hurt timber communities.

Vote for Ron Richards, who represents the people of Clallam County, not another timber executive like Randy Johnson.

John Woolley,

Sequim