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S.P.I. Mill Officially Closes

Sonora, CA — Although some employees remain on the job, today marked the official closure of the Standard Sierra Pacific Industries mill on Camage Ave.

Supervisor Dick Pland spent over 40 years at S.P.I. … he labeled it a sad, sad day.

"I really feel for the workers here many of them second and third generation with young families and all of a sudden they’re out of work and it’s all so unnecessary, absolutely unnecessary. There are all kinds of timber out there to be thinned, to be managed and here we are shutting down one of the basic industries of the U.S., lumber productions.

The lawsuits from the radical environmentalists have destroyed the infrastructure that makes it possible to manage the timber lands that belong to the government as well as to provide the commodities that are needed in California and the nation. Over 75 percent of the lumber needed in California is imported from other states and countries that don’t have nearly the rules that we operate under in California."

Tuolumne County School Superintendent Joe Silva added, "With the closure of the S.P.I. mill the schools are expecting three to four hundred fewer students this year and that will cost the district approximately $2 million."

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com