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(Klamath) Tribes acquire former mill site
Biomass facility planned north of Chiloquin
CHILOQUIN — The Klamath Tribes purchased a 108-acre former mill site north of Chiloquin on Highway 97 and will use it for economic development, forest-based industry and energy generation.
A biomass facility for converting wood material into energy will be the key component of the proposed “Green Enterprise Park,” according to a tribal press release. Wood bundling services, manufacturing of small diameter poles and posts, and juniper products also are being considered.
The Tribes have considered purchase of the land, known as the Crater Lake Mill site, for years. Tribal council member Jeff Mitchell said tribal leaders are moving ahead with business plans and projects for the property, which could provide up to 200 family-wage jobs.
The site, about 25 miles north of Chiloquin, still has infrastructure suitable for forest products based industry.
It also has access to water, electricity and rail service. It is situated in what was formerly part of the Klamath Tribes’ reservation before they lost federal recognition in 1956.
Mitchell said some clean up would be necessary before any construction could begin. He declined to disclose the price paid for the land, but said the Tribes own the property in full.
“We feel we got a pretty good deal for it,” he said.
Along with economic development, Mitchell said developing the property would promote the Tribes’ forestry objectives and potentially replace some of the power that could be lost if four PacifiCorp-owned hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River are removed.
Tribal enterprises are the main objective of the site, but partnerships with outside, private entities also will be considered. Mitchell said the Tribes plan for the development to augment tribal employment, but would consider all qualified applicants for future jobs.
“We’ll be taking applications from everybody,” he said.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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