Suwannee County chairman to visit Klausner in Austria in bid to secure sawmill for Live Oak, Florida; state official estimates privately-owned forests could supply 128 mmbf of mill's 375 mmbf/year timber requirement

LOS ANGELES , October 9, 2012 () –

In an attempt to firm up a deal with Klausner Lumber One LLC to build a sawmill in Suwannee County, Florida, a county official will travel to Austria to meet with officials of Klausner Group and tour one of its sawmills, reported the Suwannee Democrat on Oct. 5.

The agreement between the county and Klausner was previously approved by Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners, but the company has not yet signed the deal and has since become interested in other locations.

Suwannee County Chairman Wesley Wainwright, who will take the five-day trip Austria beginning Oct. 14, said Klausner representative Thomas Meade remained a strong proponent for the Live Oak site in Suwannee County.

Klausner Holding USA Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Klausner in Austria, has applied for air permits for one site in Halifax County, North Carolina, and another in Orangeburg County, South Carolina, the Suwannee Democrat reported.

Whether or not Florida would have enough timber to supply the proposed state-of-the-art sawmill is also uncertain. The facility would need about 300 truckloads a day, said a state forest official.

After current use by existing sawmills is taken into account, about 128 million board ft. (mmbf) per year would be available from private land in Florida within 100 miles of Live Oak, said Jarek Nowak, who is with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. The proposed sawmill would need 375 mmbf/year.

Some of the additional requirement might be met by publicly-owned timberlands in Florida and timber available in nearby states, said Nowak, a forest utilization specialist. There are already 40 sawmills operating within 75 miles of Live Oak, reported the Suwannee Democrat.

Klausner intends to specialize in yellow pine, which includes loblolly, slash, long leaf and short leaf pine varieties. The Florida state calculation of timber availability on private land includes those four types of species and trees that are at least nine inches in diameter.

The primary source of this article is the Suwannee Democrat, Live Oak, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2012.

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