The timber killer

The last mill in Grant County struggles to stay open.

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The Malheur Lumber Co. in John Day is facing difficult times even with an abundance of trees in the area. Between government regulations and a sinking housing market, the last mill in Grant County is struggling to keep standing.

Down on the canyon floor, near the tree line’s edge, amid the sawdust and scrap, the last mill in Grant County is barely holding on.

The housing boom is gone bust, and the economy is in the hole. But the killer for Malheur Lumber Co. may be a lack of logs, though the ponderosa pines that powered this region for a century grow thicker now than ever before.

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