USDA to ship California timber to Wyoming mill

Neiman Enterprises sawmill file photo
Neiman Enterprises sawmill file photo(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 1:11 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - While timber harvesting in the Black Hills has diminished, there is a plan to bolster the timber supply, keeping a forest products mill in eastern Wyoming running.

A timber transit pilot project will ship fire salvage logs from the Klamath National Forest in northern California to the Neiman Forest Products mill in Hulett, Wyo., under a partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

This project is expected to supplement local timber production and help strengthen and sustain local communities and economies in Wyoming and neighboring South Dakota, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Salvage timber that would otherwise increase the potential for more wildfires will be harvested and removed from California,” said Bryan Karchut, acting forest supervisor for the Black Hills National Forest. “The Black Hills forest products industry, one of our key partners in maintaining forest health and resilience, will have a steady supply of timber to continue their mill operation. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”

“We’re honored to be a partner with the Forest Service and NWTF on this pilot project,” said Jim Neiman, President of Neiman. “Collectively we’re helping to create resilient forests and stable economies around rural and underserved communities across the nation.”

The pilot project will be studied to determine the long-term viability of transferring timber in support of the Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy.