April 22, 2013 --
Rough & Ready Mill Closure Highlights Need for New Direction on Federal Forest Policy
By Health Forests, Healthy Communities
Rough & Ready Lumber yesterday announced the closure of its Cave Junction lumber mill after 90 years in business. The closure eliminates 85 family-wage jobs at the last sawmill in rural Josephine County.
The closure is the latest blow to an economically-devastated community. Based on similar multipliers looking at job losses in rural Oregon, the loss of 85 jobs in Josephine County is comparable to the loss of over 10,000 jobs in the Portland metro area. The county already has an 11.6 percent unemployment rate, and over the past five years the county has suffered an average poverty level of 18.8 percent or higher. At Cave Junction’s Evergreen Elementary School, 83 percent of children qualify for free and reduced lunch.
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