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|Articles - January 2010|
|Thursday, December 03, 2009|
BY JON BELL
Hit hard by declining harvests, the housing slump and the recession, Oregon timber towns have turned to everything from mountain bikes to microbrews to try to fill the economic void.But Prineville-based Ochoco Lumber Company is sticking with something a little closer to home to stoke up its Malheur Lumber Company in John Day: ponderosa pine wood pellets.
In November, the 77-year-old Ochoco received a $4.9 million economic recovery grant from Business Oregon to build a wood pellet fuel facility in John Day. The grant, funded with federal stimulus dollars, will create 11 new jobs and retain 80 positions at the Malheur sawmill operation. That plant processes about 30 million board feet of ponderosa pine annually, down from some 50 million board feet in its heyday.
"Without this grant, we would have had a serious concern about being able to continue to run the operation," says Bruce Daucsavage, president of Ochoco Lumber. "Now, we'll have the ability to make a multitude of different products, which will make us more competitive and give us a better opportunity to retain jobs."
Ochoco planned to break ground before the end of 2009 and have a drying system and two pellet-making machines installed by summer. Production, which could range from 25,000 to 40,000 tons annually, is scheduled to begin this fall using woody biomass from surrounding national forests as the raw material.
Ochoco has partnered with Bear Mountain Forest Products, a Cascade Locks company, to market the pellets and compressed bricks to hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings in the region that are heated by boilers.
Daucsavage says the hope is to ultimately increase output at the pellet facility and add even more jobs, all while helping to manage the surrounding woodlands wisely.
"We have a lot of responsibility and a lot of exposure, but we want to do it right," he says. "This is a great opportunity for our little town."
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
How conservation stimulates the local economy.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Friday, May 08, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
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