What will it take to bring back on line the sawmills that were shut during the housing crash? Often, it involves more than just switching on the lights. Forest Economic Advisors checked the status of 146 sawmills that had been operating prior to 2008 but weren’t as of October 2012. It found that 40% of the mills had been dismantled and 14% were declared permanently closed by their current owners (though theoretically some other company might buy the mill and reopen it). Only 26 were restarted as of last Oct. 1 and another 35 could be eventually. Collectively, these 146 plants held 19% of the potential 79 billion board feet of capacity standing at the start of 2008.

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