Colorado Senator Mark Udall visited a Montrose sawmill, Thursday, to talk about how the forest industry can help Colorado’s economy. He assisted the mill in obtaining a U.S. Forest Service contract last year. This plan is helping the mill recover. Nieman Enterprise has been a family owned business for decades, but hasn’t had any new contracts in years. However, with Senator Udall’s help and the U.S. Forest Service, there are good signs in the local timber industry.
Senator Udall said, “Mills need a 10 year supply of timber…then they can plan, they can invest, they can hire based on that long term plan and long term commitment.”
Jim Nieman, 3rd generation owner of Nieman Enterprise said, “Senator Udall really gets it.” He said because of the U.S. Forest Contract, his business will be able to survive, “We will produce about 275,000 board feed a day…why should we import wood, when got all the natural resources right here?”
Nieman said the most common wood in this area is called the England Spruce. It is wood that is made into studs, which is used in housing construction.
Senator Udall is one of 16 senators who wrote President Obama a letter encouraging him to expand the Forest Service’s Timber Sales Program, “There are various ways in which the private sector can access our forest land…Stewardship Contracts are important, particular when you have to stress trees and we have a lot of beetle kill.”