End of an era in Shelton, as the long lumber collapse continues

Simpson pulling up stakes is painful

Shelton was always a company town. For most of the 20th century, Simpson Timber Co.’s logging and mill operations were synonymous with the city’s industrial waterfront and the forest economy of rural Mason County. That era is over now, and this week Mason County’s struggling economy got another clear, urgent message. It needs to diversify, or reinvent its economic identity, and its workforce needs retraining opportunities. Some 270 jobs at Simpson’s mills in Shelton and Dayton are going away by June 30 as Simpson sells those operations to a Northern California firm, Sierra Pacific Industries. (Olympian)


It’s worth mentioning, as the story does, that these mills once were competitive because of the big timber that was in the hills beyond Shelton, and now that’s gone. It’s not that environmentalists have locked up what tiny amount remains to protect birds, there is no big timber left, and the mill is not efficient even if it was.

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