Header: Header: Header:

Vaagen Thanks Support For Midway Sawmill

The outpouring of support for Vaagen Fibre Canada’s Midway, BC sawmill, upon the early January Vaagen family announcement of the mill’s impending closure, was substantial, but apparently hasn’t changed the disappointing outcome, at least for now.

The Vaagen family, whose Vaagen Brothers Lumber headquarters and sawmill is in Colville, Wash., announced on January 6 the Midway mill, which Vaagen had been operating for more than 10 years, was shutting down indefinitely. At the time, Vaagen indicated it was looking for solutions to keep the operation going, and encouraged those impacted throughout the Boundary, West Kootenay, and Okanagan regions to appeal to the Ministry of Forests.

Vaagen Fibre Canada was a non-tenured mill and thus did not have forest licenses to manage Crown forests, which means it purchased all logs on the open market including the procurement of logs from local private landowners and woodlot owners.

“Although our team has been creative for years in finding logs to run our mill, there are a few challenges that have compounded for us. This is an access to wood fiber at market price issue,” the company stated in January. “We have put forward several solutions to the Ministry of Forests.”

However, in a March announcement President & CEO Duane Vaagen said the mill ran through its last log on February 23, “and many of our dedicated employees must seek out new work opportunities. Their commitment and pride over the last several months, when they knew things were coming to an end, was beyond any of our expectations. We are so proud of our team and want to send out the most heartfelt ‘thank you’ for giving everything until the end.”

Vaagen noted that since the January announcement hundreds of people—employees and their families, contractors and vendors, suppliers, local community leaders, forestry associations, and others—reached out to express their disappointment and asked what they could do to help. Hundreds of letters and messages via social media were sent, and numerous phone calls were made to decision-makers in Victoria.

The March announcement stated: “Vaagen family are expressing their appreciation to their many partners for their years of relationship, including employees and contractors, local community members, the Osoyoos Indian Band, West Boundary Community Forest, Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association, local area Mayors, Councillors, and Regional District Directors, and local Ministry of Forest staff.

“For those of you who called your local MLA or wrote a letter, our collective voices were heard loud and clear, so thank you. You have inspired our family to continue looking for economic opportunities in this community and we will look forward to the time where we can share what those opportunities turn into.”

Latest News

Mercer Gains Mass Timber Contract

Mercer International Inc. reported it has signed its first major mass timber project contract with a large consumer products retailer. The project, which is composed of cross-laminated timber panels, glue-laminated beams and connector elements, is expected to utilize four months of capacity at Mercer’s Spokane, Wash. facility on a one-shift basis over the course of 2023…

U.S. Housing Starts Rebound In February

U.S. housing starts brushed off a sluggish January and reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.45 million in February, up 9.8% over January. Single-family starts were 830,000, a percent above January, while multi-family (five units or more) were at 608,000, up a whopping 24% over January. The uptick in February broke a four-consecutive monthly decline for the combined starts…

Cooper Machine Partners With EWD

Cooper Machine Co., a long-established manufacturer of quality sawmill equipment located in Wadley, Ga., announced that it is partnering with German-based sawmill machine manufacturer EWD Sagetechnik. Cooper Machine has been offering equipment for sawmill, pallet, and post and pole mills since 1965. The company is in its third generation of successful management…

Find Us On Social


The monthly Timber Processing Industry Newsletter reaches over 4,000 mill owners and supervisors.



Timber Processing is delivered 10 times per year to subscribers who represent sawmill ownership, management and supervisory personnel and corporate executives. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.


Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative.