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Lars Thoughts: Today, the pandemic shutdown caused by the China Virus hits hardest in timber towns.

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Decades ago, voters in the Northwest elected officials who didn’t care for the dirty business of logging.  Funny, because nearly all of those voters and officials live in houses built from lumber.  Hundreds of thousands of citizens made family wages working in the woods.  And now most of those jobs are gone.  Destroyed by lawsuits filed over spotted owls and similar claptrap.  Tourism, selling Starbucks and Sandwiches, would replace those jobs, they promised.

They lied.

Today, the pandemic shutdown caused by China Virus hits hardest in those former timber towns.  Tourists have disappeared along with their dollars. We all hope they will come back soon

We have plenty of trees, billions of board feet, that could be logged and turned into valuable commodities.  Instead, we keep them around for ceremonial wildfires every summer.  When the smoke chokes you later this year, just remember, it’s a celebration of the policies of the politicians a majority of you voted for

America now imports more than 4 billion dollars worth of lumber, most of it from Canada, right next door, where they still believe in cutting trees.

I’m sorry for those who are unemployed today, but I can tell you that the few loggers left in the region who survived the owl suits tell me they’re still working.  They send me the pictures of the trees they harvest…because logging is largely immune to the China Virus

set up a permanent forest dividend fund (like Alaska’s) that fills with timber revenues and makes annual payments to full time residents of the state (I’m not, so no Dog in the Fight).  If voters knew that annual check depended on voting for folks who favor sensible forest policy.

 

-Lars Larson

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