Verso has announced the shuttering of the 131-year-old Luke, Maryland pulp and paper mill. This paper mill reached into Pennsylvania counties throughout South Western and South-Central Pennsylvania to buy a significant percentage of its approximately 500,000 annual green tons of pulpwood and sawmill residue chips for its paper making processes. The loss of this pulpwood market will also inevitably negatively impact the ability of PA’s Tree Farmers and woodland owners in that region to sell their small diameter hardwood logs.
PFA President Rich Lewis comments, "This mill closure is going to have a very severe economic impact on those little towns in the area (Luke and Westernport, MD, Piedmont and Keyser, WV) as well as the 675 employees (and their families) that will be losing their jobs. The economic upheaval will also be felt by the many logging and trucking contractors that supplied the mill with wood fiber who will soon go out of business when the Mill closes next month.”
The Luke Mill had a forestry department of about 20 staff who were very busy not only in procuring wood fiber but also participating heavily in conservation, environmental, forestry, tree farm, logger training and other programs in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
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