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Meet John Squires, founding member

If you scan the Pinchot Partners Archives, you'll find John Squires name, photo or quote in nearly every article that's been written in the 20 years since the group was formed.

As one of three founding members on the current Board, John is not shy about talking about the Timber Wars. 

"We have moved forward, and come a long way from the time when every timber sale resulted in an environmental lawsuit," John said, as quoted in a 2015 East County Journal article.

He saw the storm on the horizon in 1990 when the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) made the Endangered Species list. In 1994, when the USDA's Northwest Forest Plan set in motion an 80 percent reduction in timber harvests, he watched as the storm blew through the towns of Packwood, Randle, Morton and more, devastating families, businesses, and the tax-revenue dependent schools. 

At times he takes an impassioned tone against Forest Service policies, because for him, it's personal. A fourth-generation Packwoodian, John and his family weren't going anywhere. Instead, he joined a group of folks who met out in the forest to see if they could find any common ground.

"Collaboration is about building relationships," he said. The aim was to bring back family-wage jobs while restoring the watershed.

An avid fisherman, John spent much of the 1990s working to restore salmon and steelhead to the upper Cowlitz basin.

These days, he sells wood to campers in Mt. Rainier National Park, is a charter member of the North Gifford Pinchot Resource Advisory Committee and serves on the Board for the National Network of Forest Practitioners. He and his wife Liz have raised two daughters, Brook and Zoe.


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