WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Warm Springs Forest Products Industry mill is no longer considered viable, and tribal leaders took steps this week to shut down the mill, permanently. It has not been in operation for several weeks, but that was initially intended to be temporary until logging roads were usable.
However, the company - which is primarily owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs - owes money to a number of logging companies and missed its latest payment to the tribe, according to Spilyay Tymoo
, the tribe's newspaper. The enterprise is now in court-supervised receivership, with assets slated to be sold off to help pay its debts.
About 85 people, mostly tribal members, were working at the mill prior to the closure. The tribe purchased the operation from Jefferson Plywood in the 1960s, and say it provided substantial dividends for decades. However, they say the lumber market is changing and the mill's equipment is no longer appropriate for the current type of logs coming through. Officials are considering a number of business models to bring new revenue to the tribe.