BRUCE, Miss. (WCBI) – The Weyerhaeuser Mill and the timber supply in Bruce keeps the area booming, and is a great resource for the city and county.
The success of the timber industry relies on a certain market, and when that market booms, the mill and area does too.
When the housing market is up, timber sales grow.
“People are constantly building houses, which is really where our lumber goes towards. The market of houses and buildings,” says Weyerhaeuser Electrical Manager, Chris Williams.
However, back in 2008, when the housing market crashed, things at Weyerhaeuser slowed down.
“It did affect the county somewhat, obviously, Weyerhaeuser was not in the market to buy as much pine logs as they had been, but they never closed the mill. They kept right on going out there, so it was just a slow down in sales, but it’s bounced back, now and hopefully will continue to be positive for our county,” says Calhoun Economic Development Association Director, Shelia Freely.
How much has it bounced back? On average, 150 to 200 log trucks roll into Wayerhaeuser, which adds up to around 36,000 trucks annually.
“With regards to timber and lumber, it’s closely linked to the housing market, and the housing market has been running somewhere, I believe in the million housing starts, so it’s a little bit better than what it was, but it’s not like it once was, but it is starting to come back pretty robust compared to what it’s been in the last several years,” says Weyerhaeuser Mill Manager, Randy Darracot.
When the timber sales are down, it doesn’t stop trees from growing throughout in Calhoun County.
“Pine timber in this county has always been an asset to our county, not only do we have people growing here with pine plantations and selling their timber product, we have Weyerhaeuser that’s actually sawing it, and they have a lot of good employees out there, so timber industry in our county is great,” says Freely.
Weyerhaeuser has 175 employees that rely on timber for a living, but timber isn’t their only specialty.
“Timber is crucial obviously to the lumber industry. It’s the primary resource that we use in the mill, and not only do we produce lumber, we produce wood chips for the paper industry,” says Darracot.
Each log truck carries around 26 to 30 logs per load, and log costs are payed per ton.