Mill Closure Impacts Ellensburg Lumber Company
Yakima, WASH. - Effects of the Yakima Resources plywood mill closing are trickling down to other lumber companies.
American Forest Resources in Ellensburg is one local logging company now facing the problem of where to ship their logs.
The company owns land in the Teannaway north of Cle Elum.
They send a 95-percent of their logs to the Yakima plywwood mill.
Now they have to find other saw mills farther away to send their logs.
The extra transportation costs could have a large effect on the logging company.
"With this mill closure in eastern washington it is going to effect east side forest land owners where they can deliver logs," said Jeff Jones, General Manager of American Forest Resources.
Jones' company owns land near Cle Elum, which has supplied logs to the Yakima mill since 1903.
In the past, loggers ran the lumber down the Yakima River, now trucks deliver the logs.
American Forest Resources shipped their logs 70 miles to the Yakima mill.
Now with the closure, they will have to add 50 to 150 more miles to deliver the lumber somewhere else.
"We're not going to change our cutting we'll still deliver the same amount of wood, but we're going to have to have a lot higher transportation costs to get them further to the market," Jones said.
Certain types of trees like Ponderosa Pines and Grand Firs could only be cut at the Yakima mill. That's why loggers are now faced with shipping their logs to mills hundreds of miles away.
The cost of fuel and an expanding world market could put many logging companies big and small in serious jeopardy.
"Well at this time we're going to do our best to peddle the wood where we can and if it cuts into the economics of delivering that wood further, then we'll have to make other decisions on what to do with the land," Jones said.