Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, July 10, 2019, Page A5, Image 5

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Timber Unity movement gets presidential invite
By Aubrey Wieber and
Claire Withycombe
Oregon Capital Bureau
Two members of a
quickly rising political activ-
ist community of Oregon
loggers have been invited to
the White House to attend a
speech on “America’s envi-
ronmental leadership” on
Monday, July 8, by Presi-
dent Donald Trump.
Timber Unity, a group
comprised mostly of log-
gers but also truckers, farm-
ers and other Oregonians
opposed to a carbon-regu-
lating program proposed by
Oregon lawmakers, posted
the invitation on their Face-
book page Tuesday night.
As of Wednesday after-
noon, the post had been
shared more than 3,000
times and received more
than 1,000 comments.
A White House offi cial
confi rmed the invitation to
the Oregon Capital Bureau
Timber Unity organiz-
ers Marie Bowers, a farmer
from Coburg, and Todd
Stoffel, a log truck driver
from Washougal, Washing-
ton, will be representing the
group at Monday’s event.
Stoffel grew up in Monroe,
and half the business of his
company, GT Stoffel Truck-
ing, is in Oregon, he said.
Stoffel said he didn’t
know what the event would
entail, or who else would be
there, but he’s looking for-
ward to the trip.
“We have an opportu-
nity to let the voice of rural
America to be heard,” Stof-
fel said.
The Timber Unity Face-
book page created its fi rst
post June 21, and already
has more than 47,000
Those behind the group
were chief organizers of
a large rally at the Capi-
tol last Thursday, June 27,
protesting House Bill 2020,
which would have capped
the state’s greenhouse gas
Bowers said she got
word from a political friend
during the rally that the
White House was watching
what was happening in Ore-
gon. She announced it to the
crowd, which erupted with
Bowers said the White
House reached out to Nick
Smith, executive director
for Healthy Forests, Healthy
ging-friendly nonprofi t that
started in Roseburg, during
the rally. The White House
asked Smith who from Ore-
gon should attend the event,
and he said Timber Unity,
Bowers said.
Bowers was told of the
invitation after the rally, and
got the offi cial invitation
The cap and trade pro-
posal, which prompted Sen-
ate Republicans to avoid the
Senate for nine days in pro-
test late last month to pre-
vent a vote on it, died at
the end of the legislative
Stoffel said many have
been surprised at how Tim-
ber Unity took off, but he
said there are parallels to
the national uprising of
rural, working-class Amer-
The Timber Unity move-
ment casts itself as purely
grassroots, according to
several Republican law-
makers and protesters.
However, they are in part
fi nanced by Stimson Lum-
ber CEO Andrew Miller, a
frequent GOP donor who
is prominent on the Tim-
ber Unity Facebook page
and has a letter explaining
his $5,000 seed donation on
their website.
Todd Stoff el, a log truck driver from Washougal, Washington
icans who have become
more vocal since Trump
took offi ce.
“A couple guys had
an idea and they cre-
ated a Facebook page. It’s
been word of mouth from
there,” Stoffel said. “This
is a voice for rural Oregon,
rural America, that we’re
tired of being steamrolled,
which is what a lot of the
policies seem to do for us.
The stuff that’s passed is
about the big cities, espe-
cially in Oregon. There
are other parts of the state
of Oregon other than just
Stoffel said he didn’t
know what their current
funding level is. Its politi-
cal action committee shows
$31,457, according to state
campaign fi nance records.
A GoFundMe campaign
that popped up when the
group was getting orga-
nized received money from
several sympathetic busi-
ness partners, though the
group has moved to a direct
funding channel on their
ber Unity shut down the
GoFundMe as organiz-
ers learned it didn’t com-
ply with state requirements
to report political spending
and contributions.
Timber Unity’s website
shows its organizers as three
truckers: Jeff Leavy, Adam
Lardy and Scott Hileman.
The White House invi-
tation is the apparent cul-
mination of several weeks
of national attention on the
Republican walkout, which
was picked up by outlets
from the New York Times
to Vice to Fox News.
Stoffel said issue is rural
versus urban, Republican
versus Democrat.
He said Democrats at the
Legislature “snubbed their
noses” at loggers and truck-
ers who wanted to under-
stand the bill. Republicans
embraced them, he said.
“The rural parts of this
country have been ignored
for years,” Stoffel said, add-
ing Trump’s election proves
that. “The majority of
Americans are tired of the
same old, same old.”
Stoffel said he under-
stands the majority of vot-
ers put Democrats who ran
on cap and trade in offi ce,
but said that’s because rural
voters have routinely been
pushed down. They stay
home because they know
they will be “steamrolled”
by the Democratic agenda,
he said.
Democrats and environ-
mentalists pushing climate
legislation said House Bill
2020 was tailored to protect
rural Oregon, driving dol-
lars from the cities to proj-
ects in rural communities.
Stoffel said that could
be true, and many might be
misunderstanding the bill,
but if so, that’s on Demo-
cratic lawmakers for not
taking the time to clearly
explain it.
“If you read the bill and
you read all the legal jar-
gon, the normal person can-
not fi gure out what they are
saying,” he said. “When we
were in the House and Sen-
ate chambers, they read so
fast and push everything so
fast, that you can’t under-
stand what’s going on.”
Stoffel said the invita-
tion shows rural voices in
Oregon and other states
across the country are being
heard. He said it could add
momentum to Timber Uni-
ty’s already skyrocketing
profi le, and he might even
get a chance to talk policy
with the president.
Stoffel said some in Tim-
ber Unity have been hurt
by Trump’s trade war with
China, resulting in higher
“There is not a perfect
one-size-fi ts-all policy with
any administration,” he
said. “Yes, there are some
that have hurt our industry.
I may have an opportunity
to bring that up with him.”
Hansell instrumental in funding for one-stop health center
Steve Tool
Wallowa County Chieftain
Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell
is earning his paycheck. The
Dist. 29 senator has been
hard at work getting a “one-
stop” community health cen-
ter ramrodded through the
state legislature and to the
governor’s desk. The “one-
stop” moniker aptly describes
how the projected center
that would offer all-around
services, including men-
tal health, substance abuse,
veterans services and public
health services as well.
Hansell said that the proj-
ect funding came through the
auspices of the legislature’s
Capital Construction Com-
mittee, which is a sub-com-
mittee of the Joint Ways and
Means Committee. He added
that the project has been
in the making for several
years. The senator was work-
ing with Dist. 58 representa-
tive, Greg Barreto on a health
clinic project at the request of
his Elgin constituents when
he was also contacted by peo-
ple in the city of Enterprise
with a similar request.
Hansell told the Enter-
prise constituents that he
would start on their project
after funding was secured for
the Elgin project.
“They understood and
waited,” Hansell said. “We
made it one of of our top pri-
orities and began to work the
While there was virtu-
ally no legislative opposi-
tion to the project, Hansell
said the major roadblock to
getting funding approved
for the center was simply the
amount of requested projects
versus the limited amount of
funds available.
“They’re (the Capital
Construction Committee)
looking for things like com-
munity involvement — ‘Do
you have skin in the game,
what will be accomplished
by it?’” Hansell said. He
added that other consider-
ations included project loca-
tion and community bene-
fi ts. He also said that that the
committee is very similar to
a grant board and rigorously
examines applications. Wal-
lowa County’s passed with
fl ying colors.
“It was a real team effort,”
Hansell said. “My hat is off to
the Wallowa community and
the different folks working
on the boards, the local fund-
raising that was done and the
commitment of the commu-
nity to this project was just
outstanding. They raised hun-
dreds of thousands of dollars
to match the state funds.”
The senator noted that the
committee saw the need was
there, and that he and Bar-
reto promoted the idea as a
pilot project showing what
a small community can do
when they work together and
come to the state to have it
help fulfi ll its dream.
According to Hansell,
state senator of Dist. 17, Dr.
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward,
a Democrat, was instrumen-
tal in helping get funding for
the project. She even visited
Wallowa County with the
senator to familiarize herself
with the project and meet
its key players. At the time,
neither senator realized that
Sen. Hayward would later be
appointed as co-chair of the
Ways and Means Committee.
“She saw the project,
and understood how help-
ful it would be and important
it was and she was an early
supporter of it,” Hansell said.
Hayward originally offered
to co-sponsor the project
but had to retract after being
appointed the committee
“She didn’t feel it was
right for her to be a co-spon-
sor of legislation she would
be trying to get funding for,”
Hansell said. “I appreciated
her integrity on this.”
“It was a great idea for
a community project, and
we were successful in get-
ting it done,” Hansell said.
“There was great leadership
locally, and they just helped
me to help them. We were a
team from start to fi nish, and
it was an honor for me to be
part of it.”
Combat veterans more likely to experience mental health issues
Michelle Klampe
Oregon State University
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Mili-
tary veterans exposed to com-
bat were more likely to exhibit
signs of depression and anxi-
ety in later life than veterans
who had not seen combat, a
new study from Oregon State
University shows.
The fi ndings suggest that
military service, and partic-
ularly combat experience, is
a hidden variable in research
on aging, said Carolyn Ald-
win, director of the Center for
Healthy Aging Research in
the College of Public Health
and Human Sciences at OSU
and one of the study’s authors.
“There are a lot factors of
aging that can impact mental
health in late life, but there
is something about having
been a combat veteran that is
especially important,” Ald-
win said.
The fi ndings were pub-
lished recently in the jour-
nal Psychology and Aging.
The fi rst author is Hyunyup
Lee, who conducted the
research as a doctoral stu-
dent at OSU; co-authors are
Soyoung Choun of OSU and
Avron Spiro III of Boston
University and the VA Bos-
ton Healthcare System. The
research was funded by the
National Institutes on Aging
and the Department of Veter-
ans Affairs.
There is little existing
research that examines the
effects of combat exposure
on aging and in particular
on the impacts of combat on
mental health in late life, Ald-
win said. Many aging studies
ask about participants’ status
as veterans, but don’t unpack
that further to look at differ-
ences between those who
were exposed to combat and
those who weren’t.
Using data from the Vet-
erans Affairs Normative
Aging Study, a longitudi-
nal study that began in the
1960s to investigate aging
in initially healthy men, the
researchers explored the
relationship between com-
bat exposure and depressive
and anxiety symptoms, as
well as self-rated health and
stressful life events.
They found that increased
rates of mental health symp-
toms in late life were found
only among combat veter-
ans. The increases were not
seen in veterans who had not
been exposed to combat.
Generally, mental health
symptoms such as depres-
sion and anxiety tend to
decrease or remain stable
during adulthood but can
increase in later life. The
researchers found that com-
bat exposure has a unique
impact on that trajectory,
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independent of other health
issues or stressful life events.
“In late life, it’s pretty nor-
mal to do a life review,” Ald-
win said. “For combat vet-
erans, that review of life
experiences and losses may
have more of an impact on
their mental health. They may
need help to see meaning in
their service and not just
dwell on the horrors of war.”
Veterans’ homecoming
experience may also color
how they view their service
later in life, Aldwin said.
Welcoming veterans home
and focusing on reintegra-
tion could help to reduce the
mental toll of their service
over time.
Most of the veterans in the
study served in World War II
or Korea. Additional research
is need to understand more
about how veterans’ experi-
ences may vary from war to
war, Aldwin said.
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