Monday, February 15, 2016
Media Contact: Laurel Keith
Commissioner Candidate: Toni Webb
Josephine County Commissioner Candidate Toni Webb meetswith Donald Trump Jr. to discuss Timber Issues
Grants Pass, Oregon – February 15, 2016. Concerned about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s response (Jan 21, 2016, Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas) to the proposal to transfer federally-controlled public lands to the control of the States, Toni Webb accepted an invitation from the American Lands Council to meet with Donald Trump Jr. last Saturday in Salt Lake City. As avid hunters and fishermen, Trump Jr. and Sr are concerned that everything be done to protect the lands.
Webb found Trump Jr. to be sincerely interested in listening to representatives from several Western states, including Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona. Ken Ivory, founder of the American Lands Council, explained that his group is working to secure better access and better productivity of public lands through local control.
States currently receive a share of federal mineral receipts, and local governments receive a small amount from the federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program. This July, Josephine County will receive the last SRS subsidy of $4.3 million. In Josephine County, 68% of the land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. In 2012, as the subsidy sharply declined, the County laid off 127 people. 90 of those people were in the Sheriff’s department, leaving the County with inadequate public safety resources.
Webb presented Trump Jr with a report detailing the effects of reduced timber harvests in Josephine County, along with the news of layoffs and eventual closure of the county’s last remaining sawmill, Rough & Ready in Cave Junction. She encouraged presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, to support the transfer of lands, saying, “We need your help to prevent further loss and to reverse the losses that have plunged our county into poverty.”
Toni Webb, a native of Josephine County, is running for Josephine County Commissioner. Webb has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business and has worked for large corporations and owned several small businesses. She is active in community projects and co-sponsored a successful levy in 2014 to benefit the County Animal Shelter.