B3 Strategies Strives to Help Re-Open Eagar, Ariz. Mill

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With the closure of Four Corners Forest Products in Eager, Ariz., the Forest Service faces the dilemma of what to do with a collapsing forest products industry

Our goal is to help the Vaagen brothers double the amount of product they are able to get through their mill. This would give them the opportunity to double the number of full-time positions and bring valuable economic growth to the Eagar area.

In late August, a mill in Eagar, Ariz. was forced to temporarily close its doors due to a lack of materials. Phoenix-based B3 Strategies, a public policy firm, has been helping the owners of the mill for the past two years to develop a foundation in Arizona.

The mill, owned by Kurtis and Russ Vaagen, opened in 2012. Vaagen Brothers Lumber owns a number of mills throughout Northeast Washington State and Canada. The mill in Eagar, Ariz. is their first location in the Southwest.

“We’ve worked with the Vaagen brothers for two years helping them develop a foundation in Arizona,” said Russell Smoldon, CEO of B3 Strategies. “Our goal is to help the Vaagen brothers double the amount of product they are able to get through their mill. This would give them the opportunity to double the number of full-time positions and bring valuable economic growth to the Eagar area. The first step is getting the mill opened again.”

According to Vaagen Brothers Lumber, the mill brought 18 full-time positions to Eagar. The mill closed due to an inability to get the logs that the mill needed to run.

“We’re sad to see the mill closed, even if it is only temporarily,” said Kurtis Vaagen. “Right now we have a few of our staff working in Colville, WA where our main mill is located. We want to send them home to Eagar as soon as we can.”

Operations like the Vaagen brother’s mill work with the Forest Service to thin acres in the national forest. The act of thinning, which involves removing small diameter trees, allows for the healthy growth of larger trees.

“There is tremendous room for growth for mills like the Vaagen brother’s and the companies that use their product,” said Smoldon. “Our job at B3 Strategies is to help raise the awareness of the great things that these mills do. By thinning trees in the national forest they reduce the risk of forest fire. The logs and chips they create in their mill are used for everything from biomass fuel to the lumber you can purchase for home improvement projects. If we can get that mill open again, the only thing limiting the creativity of this industry is the number of logs that go through their door.”

About B3 Strategies
“Building Public Policy Brick-By-Brick”
Positioned as “The Public Policy Architects,” B3 Strategies, an affiliate of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon law firm, provides clients with the knowledge and tools needed to present, support and implement public policy to address issues affecting their businesses. B3 Strategies leverages relationships with an extensive network of government officials, legislators and the business community to develop and implement public policy strategies at the local state, and federal levels for a wide-range of industries, including those focused on energy, water, taxation, environmental, health care and economic development issues.

For additional information please visit http://www.B3strategies.com, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon
Jennings Strouss & Salmon is one of the Southwest's leading law firms, providing business, litigation and regulatory legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, and Yuma, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. For additional information please visit http://www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Melissa DiGianfilippo

Russell D. Smoldon
Serendipit Consulting
since: 04/2010
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