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S.P.I. To Close Sonora And Camino Mills

Redding, CA — Sierra Pacific Industries has announced the impending closure of its mills in Sonora and Camino.

The closure in Sonora also includes the power generation plant.

Overall 310 employees will be affected by this announcement; 146 in Sonora and 154 in Camino. The Sonora sawmill and electric power plant will run until sometime in mid-July to deplete existing log decks. S.P.I. anticipates the Camino plant will run until about June 12. Although these are considered "permanent" closures, the company will keep the equipment in place and operational if conditions change. However at this point there are no plans to restart the mills in the foreseeable future.

According to S.P.I. the specific reasons for these mill closures fall into two categories: extremely low lumber prices and a costly and difficult regulatory environment.

Initially the downturn in new home construction has reduced both the demand for lumber and the price S.P.I. receives for its finished products. Secondly there has been a fall-off in the amount of national forest and private timber for sale in this area causing an uncertainty of supply and finally the Timber Harvest Plan review process has become so complex and costly that plan approval has slowed dramatically.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com