Northern California’s Lance Forest Products is relocating a sawmill from Redding to Cimarron, New Mexico with the help of a $350,000 investment from the state Economic Development Dept. Lance Forest Products executives have developed logging and thinning agreements with ranches in the northern New Mexico region, and state officials are hoping additional thinning in the area will help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires such as the Ute Park blaze that burned 36,000 acres in and around Philmont Ranch in 2018.

Company officials are looking for 40 employees to staff the operation, and state officials are hoping the move will revitalize the forest restoration economy in the area, provide needed jobs and improve forest health. The Village of Cimarron also plans to develop an industrial park around the new sawmill to serve businesses that can use wood products for furniture and pellets. Lance Forest Products officials say they plan on relocating more than $1.2 million in machinery from California to New Mexico and hope to begin operations in mid 2020.