Swanson to close Glendale sawmill

March 6, 2019

Swanson Group announced the permanent closure of its sawmill in Glendale on Friday.

The mill will stop bringing in new supplies for production by the end of this week and all of the employees will be reassigned to two of the three other facilities in the next few weeks according to President and CEO Steve Swanson. The mill will be fully shut down by the end of May.

“The issue is simply timber supply,” Swanson said. “The region is starving for timber and it’s just not being sold by the biggest landowner which is the federal government.”

Swanson said the Glendale Mill is surrounded by “billions of feet of timber” owned by the U.S. Forest Service and not being able to buy that timber has been a struggle for that mill for a while.

The most board feet sold in by the U.S. Forest Service in a fiscal year since 1994 is less than half of the average number sold since the service starting recording sales in 1958.

Swanson Group will be adding capacity at the Glendale Plywood and Roseburg Stud mill facilities. The change will not affect the Springfield Plywood facility.

“By number, most will go to Glendale Plywood, the rest will go to the Roseburg Stud mill,” Swanson said. “(The employees) will all have the opportunity to move to another location. We’ll take out the parts and pieces that make sense for use in other facilities, then we’ll sell off the machine centers, and the stuff that doesn’t have a home will go up for auction.”

Swanson Group plans to keep the building and the property and does not have any existing plans to open a new mill, just to expand local operations.