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Spearfish timber mill lays off quarter of its staff
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Neiman timber mill lays off quarter of its staff

SPEARFISH, S.D. – The Black Hills’ largest sawmill is announcing layoffs and reductions at its Spearfish facility.

Nieman Enterprises says it’s laying off 50 employees—roughly a quarter of its staff at Spearfish Forest Products.

The timber mill says the layoffs are a “direct result of reductions to the Black Hills National Forest timber sale program.”

“We have done everything possible to prevent this unfortunate outcome that will impact these employees, our community and ultimately the health of the forest,” said Jim Neiman, president of Neiman Enterprises, in the layoff announcement.

Timber sales have dropped significantly since 2018.

Large wildfires in the early 2000s, the mountain pine beetle epidemic and aggressive timber harvesting as a result have led to a reduction in sawtimber.

The company has said for years the reduced timber sales could lead to the closure of another facility. Neiman closed its Hill City mill in 2021.

This year, state lawmakers rejected a proposal to place $20 million in federal pandemic aid money into a grant for the timber industry. Some were skeptical the move was allowed.

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