In the Fort Assinboine area sits a saw mill, a survivor in an industry that not too long ago was looking into an unknown future. I had the opportunity to tour this mill for a story in a special natural resources supplement.
I’m guilty of living somewhat under a rock when it comes to what is going on in the natural resources world, and it was so interesting to learn of the mountains the lumber industry had to climb in order to survive.
The real estate crash of 2008, when the stock market fell apart, the lumber industry was cut big time. Before 2008, the United States were at about 2.2 million new houses per year. That number dipped to an alarming 450,000 after the crash. There was well over 40-50,000 workers laid off in the prairies including B.C.
However moving into the past year and a half, the industry has seen some spikes. In the last six to 12 months a lot of mills have been ramping up their production, which is a very good sign.
In addition to the knowledge I gained, I also got to sport a hard hat, goggles, and safety vest. It was a good look .