NAHEOLA, Alabama — Georgia-Pacific today announced plans to invest more than $120 million to add a new tissue machine and roll storage building at its mill in Choctaw County, the latest substantial investment in the facility.
The new projects continue Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific’s modernization of the Naheola mill, which includes ongoing construction of a new biomass boiler and woodyard. Georgia-Pacific said the modernization projects position the mill and its overall business to be competitive in the market.
Bad weather in key markets has hampered building and renovating new homes and limited orders. Nashville, Tenn.’s hot housing market was doused by more than a foot of rainfall in February. Seattle suffered record snowfall, and it has been extremely soggy in two of the country’s top markets for fix-and-flip jobs, Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.
Alabama Forestry Commission officials estimate $20 million in timber in Houston County was lost to Hurricane Michael.
Surveys conducted by the AFC last found about 42,357 forested acres were destroyed by the storm. Around 13,396 acres of pine, 2,879 acres of hardwood and 26,082 acres of mixed pine and hardwood was lost.
Too much pine and not enough saw mills spell years of depressed prices for plantations.
Wigginton works for the Westervelt Ecological Services, a division of the Westervelt timber company that owns 400,000 acres across Alabama, including this 3,000-acre pine plantation along Tallatchee. Westervelt, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, placed 335 federally threatened orangenacre muckets — mussels — into the creek with hopes of revitalizing a near-extinct species.
So far, the conservation efforts look promising. The service credits Westervelt, in particular, for its role in conserving at-risk species and habitats. The Tuscaloosa-based company, through its ecological services business, buffers streams, restores creek beds, educates contractors on environmental precautions and runs for-profit mitigation banks to conserve large swaths of land.