Group rallies together to make voices heard over sawmill closure

Group gathers at the mill.
Group gathers at the mill.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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HILL CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - After 53 years, the sawmill in Hill City is closing its doors. The owner claims the decision is due to the U.S. Forest Service’s reduction in timber sales and on Saturday the community rallied together.

For Cori Schmidt who coordinated the event, the closure hit hard. Her husband lost his job, their insurance, and the family is losing their home. So she organized a caravan to go from Hill City to the Mystic Ranger Station in Rapid City to make themselves seen in the Black Hills.

The idea behind the event was to let the community know how important these jobs are not only to the community but also the Black Hills.

Former Rushmore Forests Products employee George Clinton attended to make his voice heard.

”To inform the public of how the government has altered our lives and mismanagement of the timber in our national forests and how when you mismanage the forest and you give a beetle more rights than man then we are going to have problems,” says Clinton.

The group plans to attend town hall meetings in Custer, Hot Springs, and Hill City in the upcoming weeks.

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