President Donald Trump has invited two members of a pro-logger advocacy group that opposed Oregon Democrats’ climate change policy to the White House for a July 8 speech on “environmental leadership.”
Marie Bowers, a grass seed farmer in Lane County, and Todd Stoffel, a Washougal logger and trucker, said they’d been asked to go to Washington, D.C., to represent Timber Unity, a grassroots organization that was formed in early June to oppose House Bill 2020, the cap and trade bill that died at the end of the session. The invitation was originally reported by the Salem Reporter.
Bowers said the White House reached out to a Roseburg-based nonprofit, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities, and the executive director referred officials to Timber Unity.
“I got asked to go because of some of the grassroots work I’ve done in Lane County,” she said. “There’s a lot of people out here in the country who make their living on the land who are kind of upset with that’s happening in Salem and they realized they have some momentum and a movement.”
Bowers said she’s a big supporter of Trump for rolling back Obama-era legislation that she said limited access to farmland, pardoning the Hammond family in Eastern Oregon, and lowering her tax rates.
“I can’t believe this is real life. I’m just a farmer down here in Lynn and Lane County who pays attention to politics,” she said. “We just started harvest so it’s going to be a quick trip.”
Stoffel, a fourth-generation logger raised in Oregon, said he had no idea why he’d been chosen to participate, but was honored to go. He said he was opposed to HB 2020 because of the direct impacts on his business.
“When your burn 60, 70, or 100 gallons of diesel a day, do the math, your savings in fuel is your profit and after this you have none,” he said. “Bottom line, enough is enough.”