Timber mill brings economic recovery to town


KING 5 News

DARRINGTON, Wash. - A timber mill is once again the largest employer in the town of Darrington, bringing back 150 family wage jobs to the community.

Hard economic times brought the mill to a standstill last year. It was bought by Hampton affiliates of Portland, Ore., which invested $15 million in upgrades so the mill could cut today's smaller, second-growth logs.

“We’re putting this high-quality equipment in here at incredible cost because we know that we are the best producer at the lowest cost and have a better chance to survive over time,” said John Hampton, chairman of Hampton Affiliates.

The mill brings back 150 jobs.

The company also bought 68,000 acres of nearby timber lands to assure a reliable timber resource. It also plans to buy state timber, which will boost Washington's economy.

“If this mill buys about half of its product from state-owned lands, from our trust lands, the monies that we receive for harvesting on those trust lands will build schools,: said Doug Sutherland, State Land Commissioner.

The mountain town has a population of about 1,200 people and is located just a few miles from the Western base of the Cascade Mountains, 90 miles northeast of Seattle.


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