NewLife Forest Products has acquired a 425,000-square-foot plant and 35 acres of land near Flagstaff, Arizona, which it will use to house a new high-production sawmill. Around 200 employees will be hired.
NewLife, the operating entity for Good Earth Power AZ, says the facility will produce 120 million board feet of lumber per year, as well as engineered wood products. The operation will also thin the fire-ravaged forests of Arizona, which the company says are upwards of 20 times more overgrown than normal.
The U.S. Forest Service is collaborating with NewLife in the effort under the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI).
“This is the most exciting and important project I have been involved with in my 40-year career in the forest products industry,” said NewLife Forest Products CEO Ted Dergousoff. "We have invested millions of dollars to retool the existing plant which will allow us to work with our partners to process the mixed inventory of diameter trees and log sizes that the forest gives us. The Bellemont sawmill will play a key role for keeping Coconino County protected from a catastrophic wildfire event."
The new facility will house a sawmill, planer mill, kilns, and multiple timber processing lines. A rail spur will help move products.
NewLife specializes in ponderosa pine. Some of the company's products include landscape bark, horse bedding, woodchips, and soils.