Allegheny Wood Products, Inc. operates six sawmills in three states. Coastal Lumber Company operates fifteen sawmills in five states. Both companies are long-established, family-owned, integrated timberland and sawmill operators. Together, these mills employ more than 1,200 people in low-income areas. These two companies run 23 operations in 22 communities, a major source of employment in the region.
However, the national recession, Hurricane Katrina and the downturn in the housing market caused both companies to suffer severe financial losses, threatening 1,200 jobs. In order to raise working capital, owners sold 131,000 acres of forestland to The Forestland Group. The Forestland Group plans to manage these lands in accordance with the highest standards of working forest management.
The acquisition saves more than 1,200 positions and the main employer in 22 communities. These 1,200 jobs provide $45 million in income to these workers. Indirectly, there are sales to loggers, truckers, electrical utilities, fuel suppliers, machine repair services, insurance providers, banks and all other businesses, creating an estimated additional 940 indirect positions.