A Wisconsin-based company, WholeTrees Structures, has announced its intentions to reopen the shuttered MooseWood Millworks flooring plant in Ashland, Maine. WholeTrees plans on using the facility to become Maine’s first manufacturing plant for a natural log product known as structural round timber. The product uses smaller, leftover logs that most mills would consider waste. In Ashland, near Maine’s North Woods, where several logging companies harvest, materials need for production are plentiful.
The timber venture would bring a new product to the state and to heavily forested Aroostook County. For the small town of Ashland, the revival of the mill, which has been closed since 2017, will mean new opportunities for employment.
The town of Ashland, Seven Islands, and WholeTrees Structures, which would set up the mill, are finishing details on a lease agreement for the property. The project has received $650,000 in grants from the Northern Maine Forest Center and Maine Development Foundation and is awaiting federal funding of $500,000 from the latest congressional spending package to finalize the lease.
The town of Ashland is involved in the lease negotiations because the grants and federal funding are coming directly to the town. Seven Islands will retain ownership of the mill, which WholeTrees will lease. Original Mass Timber will hire people to staff the mill and work with WholeTrees to run the operation.
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