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Boise Cascade to Close Plywood Plant in Oregon
Boise, Idaho, USA, 08 January 2009 -- Boise Cascade announced today that the company will close its plywood manufacturing facility located in White City, Oregon.

Boise Cascade spokesman Robert Smith, human resources manager for Boise Cascade’s Western Oregon Region for wood products manufacturing, indicated the mill will cease operations 13 March 2009, affecting 110 hourly production workers and management staff.

The plywood mill operation has been in existence since 1962. Boise Cascade purchased the mill in 1977 from Gold Rey Forest Products.

“The current market for wood products and prolonged downturn in demand for plywood produced at this mill has necessitated this closure announcement,” Smith said. 

Plywood panels produced at White City are shipped to Boise Cascade’s nearby engineered wood products plant for subsequent manufacture of structural beams and I-joists and sold to the West Coast panel market. Based on current market conditions, panel requirements at Boise Cascade’s White City engineered wood products plant can be satisfied from Boise Cascade’s larger North Medford plywood mill.

“We will be meeting soon with employees at this facility to discuss the effects of this closure and potential closure benefits to ameliorate the effects,” Smith said. Employees will receive severance pay as part of those closure benefits.

“At this point in time, we consider this a permanent closure. We have already experienced numerous temporary curtailments during the past several months in 2008. In fairness to our employees, we don’t think it is appropriate to continue these repetitive curtailments when our market outlook remains dim. This closure decision will trigger employment termination benefits which would not otherwise be available,” Smith said.

“Obviously the impact of this closure on our employees, their families, and vendors in the community is regrettable. We had hoped to see a stronger market for wood products in the past year, but both regional and national economic conditions have not been conducive to wood products demand. Uncertainty regarding the future availability of merchantable timber sales from public lands also impacts our longer range forecast for this facility.”

In March 2008, Boise Cascade closed its White City pine sawmill, which affected 32 employees. After the plywood mill closure, Boise Cascade will have a veneer mill and engineered wood products plant in White City, and a plywood mill in North Medford. Boise Cascade currently employs 755 people in the Rogue Valley.

Boise Cascade manufactures engineered wood products, plywood, lumber, and particleboard and distributes a broad line of building materials, including wood products manufactured by the company. The company is privately owned and headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Visit Boise’s Web site at www.bc.com.

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