Lumber Industry Struggling to Survive in the Yakima Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lumber Industry Struggling to Survive in the Yakima Valley

YAKIMA, Wa - The lumber industry is having a hard time surviving in the Yakima Valley. A local economic expert says the two main reasons are not enough affordable lumber and a very competitive market place.

Yakima Resources just announcing plans to close down mill operations in early August.  About 230 employees will lose their jobs. 

The company's president says plywood prices have fallen and stayed at a point where they can no longer keep the plant profitable.

Dave Mcfadden from the Yakima County Economic Development Association says lumber mills first started having trouble about ten years ago and hundreds have been shutting down all over the northwest. "What i see happening in our local mill situations is that they have struggled to find the supply and then they have struggled to produce products that fit into the market dynamics either wit the right timing, or the right price point where they can actually make some money," says McFadden.

The Yakima Resources lumber mill is located very close to downtown Yakima.  Now, the question is what will happen to the property.  Mcfadden says they'll probably come up with a general idea by next year, but developments is still years away.