Malheur Lumber Co. plans to add 20 to 30 jobs at the John Day mill, going beyond a single shift for the first time since 1998.
Bruce Daucsavage, president of parent company Ochoco Lumber, said the expansion is due to the strong collaboration efforts and the launch of the 10-year stewardship contract on the Malheur National Forest. “This has really enlivened our opportunities for the future,” he said. It’s quite a turnaround, he acknowledged, from “the doldrums” of two years ago.
Malheur Lumber, which currently employs 94 people, was on the verge of closing its sawmill in late 2012, stymied by a lack of timber off the federal forests. The possible shutdown of the only operating sawmill in Grant and Harney counties stirred a full-court press by local, state and federal officials to find a way to preserve what was seen as a vital tool for restoring the health of the forests.
The Malheur National Forest, in a push for accelerated restoration, last fall awarded a 10-year stewardship contract to John Day-based Iron Triangle LLC. The long-term contract offers more certainty for the mill and other local employers. Malheur Lumber is one of Iron Triangle’s community partners for the work.
The contract’s first project has loggers, haulers and other forest crews working on the south end of the forest. A second task order, as the projects are called, is expected to roll out soon.
From MyEagleNews.com: http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/article/20140520/ARTICLE/140529977/1416