U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced on Tuesday that Malheur Lumber has agreed to remain open past its planned November closure, thanks to a commitment by the U.S. Forest Service to make more timber volume available on the Malheur National Forest.
In response to requests from Senators Wyden and Merkley, the Governor, county government, and local community groups, Regional Forester Kent Connaughton, who oversees Region 6, including the Malheur National Forest, said the USFS will accelerate timber sales and take other steps to speed up forest restoration work and provide a supply of timber for local mills, in letters to Senator Wyden and Merkley.
“Ochoco Lumber is a vital part of the John Day community and their mill represents the kind of infrastructure we can’t afford to lose if we hope to restore eastern Oregon’s overstocked forests,” Wyden said. “We have plenty of hard work ahead of us, but I promise to keep fighting with the rest of the Oregon delegation to get the Forest Service and the mill what they need.”
“I’m thankful to Regional Forester Connaughton for his swift reaction that indicates the Forest Service will take urgent action to provide more timber, and to John Shelk for keeping his mill doors open on this John Day institution. I am also grateful to the others in the state and community that have stepped up and demonstrated their support of this mill,” Wyden said.
From Ron Wyden, Oregon Senator: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-merkley-announce-malheur-lumber-to-postpone-closure-