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Louisiana Pacific will buy Medite mill

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. has signed a letter of intent to purchase theMedite veneer mill in Rogue River.

The price and other details won't be available until the sale is completein late July or early August, Medite controller Bret DeForest said Tuesday.

About 40 employees were laid off on Tuesday, leaving 10 at the mill untilthe sale closes, DeForest said. The company is still bringing in logs fromseveral timber sales and unloading them at the 55-acre Rogue River sitefor resale.

The mill employed about 50 people and processed 2.5 million feet of logsa month while operating.

Medite officials said they believe Louisiana-Pacific plans to continuemill operations in Rogue River, but that depends in part on whether thecompany can supply the mill with enough logs.

One reason Medite abandoned the Rogue River mill was difficulty in securinglog supplies because of tightened federal restrictions in national forests.

Efforts to obtain details from Louisiana-Pacific were unsuccessful.

Medite's Texas-based parent company, Valhi, began selling off its timberlandsand mills last year and has been negotiating the sale of the Rogue Rivermill for months.

Rogue Resources, a coalition of regional timber companies, bought 170,000acres of timberland last year. SierraPine, a limited partnership involvingTimber Products Co. and Sierra Pacific Industries of Redding, Calif., boughtMedite's medium-density fiberboard mill in Medford earlier this year.

Medite closed its White City sawmill in December, putting 80 people outof work.

Workers at the former Medite veneer mill in Rogue River are still loading up trucks as Louisiana Pacific prepares to buy the mill. Medite is still bringing in logs from several timber sales and unloading them at the 55-acre Rogue River site for resale. - Photo by Andy Atkinson</P