GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Gov. John Kitzhaber has announced $5 million in funding, from tax credits and a state loan, to allow Josephine County’s last sawmill to reopen and convert to cutting small logs from forest thinning and ecological restoration projects. The governor said Friday the funding helps maintain a healthy timber industry needed to protect forests.
The Rough & Ready Lumber Co. mill in O’Brien was cutting large pine logs when it closed for lack of logs last year, idling 88 people.
Owner Link Phillippi says the upgraded mill will be more automated, employ 67 people, and process about the same amount of timber.