Posted: Jun 8, 2012 7:49 AM by Breanna Roy - KPAX News
Updated: Jun 8, 2012 10:48 AM
ST. REGIS- One of the last remaining timber companies in the state is in danger of failing with company officials saying that Tricon Timber in St. Regis will have to close if the U.S. Forest Service won't compromise on their contract.
Tricon Timber can't afford to do the helicopter logging part of its contract with the USFS, which expires in August. The company started asking the USFS officials to let it out of the helicopter logging last August, offering to pay a fee. But the USFS has not agreed to change the contract.
Company officials say if the two sides can't reach a compromise, more than 200 mill workers will lose their jobs, not to mention hundreds of other contractors, which would slam the area economy.
"It'd be devastating to Mineral County's economy and to everyone's livelihood. You know, we just have to hope and pray that the Forest Service will see the good common sense has to prevail," Mineral County Commissioner Duane Simons said.
Tricon Timber can't just walk away from the contract since it depends on that USFS timber for 87% of its business.
Tricon officials asked the Mineral County Commissioners to send a letter to state leaders to push the urgency of an agreement on Monday. Meanwhile, Senator Jon Tester has been advocating a solution since March and he sent a letter to the Forest Service today urging a solution on paper.