Oregon Public Broadcasting

The company that owns the last remaining lumber mill in Grant County says it's intends to invest $2 to $4 million in the facility.

The announcement comes now that the U.S. Forest Service has awarded a 10-year stewardship contract for hundreds of thousands of acres of restoration work in the Malheur National Forest.

Just a year ago, the mill's owner, Ochoco Lumber Company said it would closing its facility in John Day due to lack of supply. But the mill stayed open.

Accelerated federal timber sales helped bridge the gap, while two collaborative groups representing environmental, timber and local interests hammered out a management plan.

Ochoco president Bruce Daucsavage says the company now wants to upgrade the plant's ability to process smaller trees.

"We have a lot of people that want to go the same direction we do. And because of that we're very comfortable to say that we would like to invest further in the community." Daucsavage said the company will wait a least a year to see if the forest service's is able to deliver on its own targets before upgrading the facility.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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