Crown Pacific said Monday it will buy 65,000 acres of timber land in northwestern Washington for $153 million from Trillium Corp. of Bellingham, Wash.
Company officials said the move will give Crown Pacific an additional 590 million board feet of saleable wood in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties. The sale will be finalized later this year.
“We believe it’s a perfect fit with our existing holdings in the area,” said Bob Hess, Crown Pacific spokesman.
The Portland-based company currently owns 1,200 acres in the Skagit Valley near Hamilton, Wash. Last year it acquired 83,000 acres in the Olympic peninsula.
The company is considering building a sawmill in the area, Hess said.
“Our goal, long-term, is to have self-sufficient operations,” he added.
This purchase brings Crown Pacific’s total holdings to 5.3 billion board feet of timber on 803,000 acres.
Meanwhile, Crown Pacific is continuing plans to build an updated $17 million sawmill in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. It closed the mill there more than a year ago with intentions to replace outdated equipment. Construction has not yet begun, but the mill is to be completed by fall 1998, company officials said.
Crown Pacific moved all but 12 employees to its Colburn mill last year, when it announced the improvement plans.
Currently, 75 people still operate the kiln and planer at the Boundary County mill. There are 134 employees at the Colburn mill north of Sandpoint.
The company also is building a stud mill in Port Angeles, Wash., to process logs from its Olympic Tree Farm.
The improvement projects in the region come after Crown Pacific has closed three plants in the past two years.
Last June it closed its Albeni Falls sawmill, saying it was too expensive to overhaul outdated equipment. It closed its Redmond, Ore., plywood manufacturing facility in October.
And in 1995, the company closed its Thompson Falls, Mont., mill after a fire swept through the mill during a remodeling project.
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