Beset by market pressures and not enough logs, Green Creek Wood Products LLC will close the company, including its recently modernized Port Angeles sawmill, on Saturday. The company is jointly owned by Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and Creekside Trading Corp. of Langley, B.C.
Green Creek will lay off 35 people, 27 of whom live on the North Olympic Peninsula, Green Crow President Randy Johnson said Thursday. Seven Green Creek employees work at the company’s 10-dry-kiln Spanaway facility and its lumber sales office in Bellingham. “This is just a terrible day for me, I’ve got to tell you,” Johnson said, adding that efforts are being made to find timber industry jobs elsewhere for the employees.
Johnson said the company has a monthly payroll at its Port Angeles mill of about $160,000, including benefits. Typical wages range from $15 to $23 an hour. “They are all specialty kinds of jobs,” Johnson said. Green Crow also had to lay off an accountant who was a longtime employee, he added.
The facility on 21 acres at 436 Eclipse West Drive fell victim to competitive market pressures and a low availability of wood, which has been a problem for about four or five years, Johnson said. The company’s 2014 total Port Angeles land value is assessed at $328,000, while the mill building and equipment are assessed at $1.5 million, according to the Clallam County Assessor’s Office.
It is the second sawmill to close its doors on the North Olympic Peninsula since July, when Interfor announced the end of its Beaver sawmill and Forks planer mill to consolidate operations at its Port Angeles plant. The closure leaves the Port Angeles Interfor facility, Allen Logging mill on the south side of the Hoh River in Jefferson County and Port Angeles Hardwood mill as the only large commercial sawmills left in Clallam and Jefferson counties, Johnson said.