The Forest Service says a $4 million grant to the Sierra Forest Products mill has helped keep 200 people employed in well-paying jobs. At the same time, the Forest Service has saved money thinning 7700 acres of national forest land in California. John Heil with the Forest Service says the company was selected for the grant because of its proximity to the Sequoia, Stanislaus and Sierra National Forests.
HEIL: "So, it's basically thinning projects. Hazardous trees are also trees that could fall. Either they maybe have disease possibly or they are dying, those kinds of things."
Heil says the grant was a one-time award and the mill will have to make it last for as long as it can. The mill has processed nearly 24 million board feet in the last three years.