Owner of Alaska sawmill Stikine River Forest Products outlines plans for 20 mmbf/year mill in Petersburg to borough assembly; US Forest Service district ranger welcomes proposed investment, but questions area's ability to provide raw material stability

LOS ANGELES , December 20, 2013 () – An Alaska sawmill owner is planning to build a sawmill in Petersburg on Mitkof Island, according to a Dec. 19 report by the Petersburg Pilot.

John Glenn, owner of Stikine River Forest Products, announced his plans to the borough assembly on the evening of Dec. 16, saying he had located a property near the airport that was within industrial zoning and had power and water connections.

Glenn said he planned to construct the mill in two phases. The first would be a large mill capable of manufacturing 100 thousand board ft. per shift, and the second phase would be a small log processing line capable of handling young-growth small-diameter logs of 4 in. to 16 in. He said the mill would employ 35-50 workers and operate for 10-11 months per year.

Glenn said he hoped to begin work on the mill in the spring and estimated a build time of between 18-24 months.

Assembly member Cindy Lagoudakis asked what harvesting volume would be needed to maintain the mill. Glenn said he estimated an annual production of around 20 million board ft.

US District Forest Ranger Jason Anderson noted that some old-growth clear cuts would be available for sale on Mitkof Island in the near future. He said Glenn would be able to bid on those sales but they would not provide the resource stability for the size of the mill being considered. He suggested Glenn should look at other locations off Mitkof Island.

But Anderson described Glenn as "a breath of fresh air," noting he was the first investor who had shown up in the area's wood products industry for a long time.

The primary source of this article is the Petersburg Pilot, Petersburg, Alaska, on Dec. 19, 2013.

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