I have deep respect for the many Oregon residents who make their livelihoods through the bounty of natural resources our state has to offer. I was born and raised in Oregon, and have seen firsthand the decimation of our rural communities through the rapid decline of the timber industry.
I want to point out some facts regarding the #TimberUnity Political Action Committee, so that as a North Coast community, we might learn more about the single largest contributor to the group, Andrew Miller, of Stimson Lumber.
Miller was educated at Ivy League Columbia University in New York City, and is the CEO of Stimson Lumber, a more than $200 million-a-year revenue-generating company headquartered in downtown Portland. Miller’s family has owned Stimson Lumber, named after his great-great-great-grandfather, T.D. Stimson, since the 1850s.
In late May, Miller announced the layoff of 60 employees at a mill in Forest Grove, and stated that Oregon policies were forcing him to shift operations to places like Idaho and Montana, where he says he can save 5% to 7% on production costs. Stimson Lumber closed its last Montana mill about 10 years ago.
Is Miller willing to close mills in rural Oregon communities to save 5% to 7% on cost? Would he lay off workers if he could automate their jobs?
Andrew Miller is making decisions from an office in downtown Portland, and is the single largest contributor to the #TimberUnity PAC.