D.R. Johnson Has Prairie City Back Up

Officials with D.R. Johnson Lumber report the company’s Prairie City, Ore. sawmill was back up and running the second week in July. Prairie Wood Products, a division of D.R. Johnson Lumber Co., had been idled since 2009 due to economic downturn pressures and a lack of logs. In late spring, D.R. Johnson Lumber officials announced a restart of the sawmill and eventually the restart of an on-site cogeneration plant.

According to Kyle Westbrooks, business development manager for Prairie Wood Products and D.R. Johnson Lumber, the mill was making lumber the week of July 11, concentrating on 8- and 9-ft. studs. He noted the company is taking the project one step at a time and said the cogen plant, which will need some level of re-permitting, would be restarted in the near future.

D.R. Johnson Lumber acquired the Prairie City mill in 1976 and added a stud mill and planer two years later. Founder Don Johnson invested in early computerization systems at the mill, and in the late 1980s the company installed a cogeneration power plant.

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