California wood products company acquires 54,000 acres of timberland in Washington

This acquisition by Sierra Pacific Industries marks the end of Murray Pacific’s century-long timber business.

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), an California wood products company, recently acquired forestland from Murray Pacific Corporation, a family-owned owner and operator of timberland in Washington State for 104 years, signalling the end of Murray Pacific’s timber business.

Sierra Pacific acquired 54,000 acres of forested land in Lewis County, Washington, for an undisclosed amount.

“Murray Pacific is pleased that SPI is committed to managing this timberland for multiple resources while providing high quality timber for the SPI’s mills in Washington,” said Toby Murray, Murray Pacific’s chief executive, in a statement.

Based in California, SPI is also a family-owned and operated company committed to long-term job creation and environmental protection in the state. The timberlands acquired will be certified under the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), an independent, non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable forest management, and is protected under an agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, according to a press release.

“We are very pleased to be able to purchase this timberland to help supply our existing and future mills in Washington,” SPI chairman Mark Emmerson said in a statement. “This land has been managed sustainably by the previous owners for many years, and we intend to continue to maintain it for high quality timber, wildlife, and water values in the future.”

Earlier this year, SPI announced the plans to purchase Simpson Lumber Company’s Shelton and Dayton mills, where it planned to shut down the old mills and build a new mill on the waterfront in Shelton that is expected to open in 2017. About 270 workers were laid off during the transition to the new mill, Agri Investor learned.

SPI owns and manages nearly 1.9 million acres of timberland in California and Washington. It is the second largest lumber producer and largest manufacturer of millwork in the US.

According to SPI, the third generation family-owned company employs modern forest management practices that closely mimic natural forest events.

The sale of Murray’s timber is expected to close by the end of July.