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Hill City sawmill closing due to lack of timber, cutting 120 jobs

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - One of the largest employers in Hill City is shutting its doors after 53 years in business and cutting 120 jobs.

Citing the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to reduce timber sales, Jim Neiman says there’s no longer enough timber available for purchase in the Black Hills to keep the sawmill viable.

“I never thought I would see the day when we would be out of options to keep all our facilities running,” Neiman, the President said. “Lumber markets have been exceptionally high for the past year and have broken all-time record highs. The problem here is purely a lack of timber available for purchase in the Black Hills and we rely on the Forest Service for approximately 80 percent of our supply.”

Earlier this month, South Dakota’s and Wyoming’s congressional delegations sent a letter led by South Dakota Senator John Thune to U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to encourage better cooperation between the forest service, local advisory boards and stakeholders who would be impacted by a potential rollback of timber sale programs.

Neiman Enterprises has been operating in the Black Hills for more than 85 years, with 53 of those years of operation in Hill City.

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