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Sierra Institute plans ribbon cutting for new sawmill

Sierra Institute for Community and Environment announced the opening of a new, community-scale sawmill, operated by J&C Enterprises and funded by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, at the Sierra Institute’s restored Indian Valley Wood Utilization Campus in Crescent Mills. To recognize the contributions of partners and celebrate this milestone in the Indian Valley community, the Sierra Institute is hosting a sawmill ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration that is open to the public on Wednesday, May 18, from 1-4 p.m.

In the wake of the 2021 Dixie Fire and its impact within the Indian Valley community, the Sierra Institute teamed up with a local, family-run logging company, J&C Enterprises, to envision a community-scale sawmill that would address the entwined needs of wildfire disaster recovery: rebuilding homes and communities, and restoring forest health. The new sawmill is the result of local talent, ingenuity, and engineering, piecing together equipment from across the United States and internationally amidst ongoing supply chain disruptions.

The mill is designed to utilize salvage timber from disaster clean-up and forest restoration activities to produce dimensional lumber, creating an outlet for trees that are otherwise rejected from the larger mills in the area, due to overwhelming supply, and disposed of. The new sawmill has a meaningful part to play in rebuilding structures, homes, and hope for the future of Indian Valley, with lessons learned for disaster response, building resilient rural communities, and enabling regenerative forest economies.

The Sierra Institute thanks the many partners involved in making this project a success: the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for their initial vote of confidence to change the scope of an existing biomass utilization grant for constructing a sawmill; the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields program, which was instrumental in a multi-year effort to remediate contamination from former industrial sawmill operations on the site; as well as support from the U.S. Forest Service Region 5, Resource Legacy Fund, Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, and the Tukman Family.

The event will be located at 15690 CA-89, Crescent Mills, CA. The site will open at 1 p.m. for parking and the option to have lunch at local food trucks. A one-hour program of speakers and the ribbon cutting ceremony begins at 2: p.m. At 3 p.m., visitors are invited to visit information booths for more information on the sawmill, the site, related projects, and enjoy food trucks. Visit www.SierraInstitute.us for more information, or call 530-284-1022 with any questions.

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