TV special explores reasons for California mill closures
» February 25, 2004 «
A special episode of California Country, "California Timber: A Dying Breed," will air throughout California and the nation, via satellite, beginning March 5. The program focuses on the closing of an El Dorado County lumber mill and the challenges facing the state's timber industry.
"The program takes an intimate look at the people behind the scenes of the Wetsel-Oviatt Timber Co. that permanently closed last fall after more than 60 years of producing wood products," said Program Host Jim Morris. "Company President Cecil Wetsel blames the decision to close on a multitude of factors, including increased workers' compensation insurance rates, greater competition from overseas wood products and stringent timber harvesting regulations."
"The Wetsel-Oviatt story offers an up-close look at the challenges facing not only timber producers, but many businesses in the state," said Bob Krauter, California Country executive producer, "and the anguish suffered by owners and workers."
Krauter said the program focuses on the timber sector because of its significance in the Golden State. He noted that nearly 40 percent of all of the land in California is forestland, more than 52,000 square miles.
"California ranks third in the U.S. in timber production," said Krauter. "In an average year, enough timber is harvested in the state to build about 150,000 homes, or $16 billion worth of products. California uses 9 billion board-feet of timber a year and at least 75 percent is imported wood."
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top