A logger from Minnesota said he supports President Donald Trump’s reelection because the president saved the timber industry from the Washington establishment and environmentalists.
Scott Dane, the executive director of Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota, criticized the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for doing nothing for the timber industry.
“But the last time Joe Biden was in the White House, Minnesota lost over half of its mills, thousands of jobs, and experienced nearly a decade of decline,” he said in a speech on the third night of the Republican National Convention (RNC). “In 47 years in Washington, Joe Biden hasn’t done anything for the timber industry.”
He also criticized the Obama-Biden administration for its lack of action when plants were closed in Duluth, Sartel, and International Falls.
“Under Obama-Biden, radical environmentalists were allowed to kill the forests,” he said.
The Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Dane supports Trump’s policies toward forest management and believes that “managed forests … are healthy forests.”
His remarks on Wednesday came as portions of California’s forests were engulfed by wildfires and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate.
More than 2,000 square miles have already burned this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
Trump has sought to balance forest management between reservation and logging.
Trump issued an executive order on Dec. 21, 2018 to allow for active management of forest and rangelands, including thinning and removing debris from millions of acres of federal lands.
The order also called on federal officials to streamline regulations and permitting processes to allow the harvest of at least 3.8 billion board feet from U.S. Forest Service lands and 600 million board feet from Bureau of Land Management lands.
That represents a massive increase in timber sales from federal lands. For example, loggers harvested 2.9 billion board feet from Forest Service lands in 2017, according to federal figures. But even Trump’s increased allowance for loggers is still about one-quarter of what was harvested in 1973.
“I told [Newsom] from the first day we met that he must ‘clean’ his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers,” the president wrote on Twitter during the recent California wildfires.
Dane, an advocate of the logging industry, added that the reinvigoration of the logging industry also saves the American way.
“Logging is the most dangerous job in the country. But we embrace that risk because we know America was built by strong people building things together,” he said. “America needs us to keep building and we can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Michael Bastasch contributed to the report.