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Katahdin Cedar Fence   P.O. Box 145    Oakfield, Maine 04763   1-800-532-1967   Fax 1-207-757-8611

Stephanie Cheney
207-831-3508 (cell)

February 13, 2009


Idle Mill to Begin Production in April 2009, Adding 10-12 Jobs

OAKFIELD, ME, February 13, 2009— Katahdin Forest Products, parent company of Katahdin Cedar Fence, has completed the purchase of SWP Industries’ Ashland, Maine, saw mill for an undisclosed amount. The mill is configured to saw Northern White Cedar for fencing and will also provide sawn cedar for Katahdin’s cedar log home business.

According to David Gordon, president of Katahdin, the acquisition will nearly double the amount of rough lumber the company will be able to produce in-house for further production into fencing and homes. “This mill really allows us to maintain control over our raw commodity expenses, as we will cut in half our need to outsource sawn lumber product,” he said.

“In these difficult economic times, we’re very pleased to be able to re-open the Ashland mill and add ten to twelve good jobs to the area,” Gordon said. Plans are in place to resume full production in April 2009.

“The Ashland location is ideal for keeping our overhead low on sawn cedar because of its proximity to private lumber roads and cedar forests.” A single log truck is limited to about 13 cords of round logs on state and federal highways, but private roads allow about 45 cords of round wood on a single truck. “This provides a significant savings of about 50% on forest to mill trucking costs, which will allow us to maintain competitive pricing on all our products,” Gordon said.

Meeting Increased Demand
The addition of the Ashland facility coincides with recent upgrades to the processing facility at the Oakfield mill. “We’ve upgraded our planer operation for the fencing division, installing variable speed drives, which will allow us to process at a greater velocity, approximately 30% - 45% more output, while maintaining our high quality finish,” said Brian Holyoke, vice president of Katahdin’s fencing division.

The Ashland mill will enable Katahdin Fence to produce more commercial grade pickets and boards. “Other saw mills in the Industry have either shut down or implemented producing thinner rough sawn cedar, which limited the availability of the raw material necessary to produce the quality and quantity that our partners in the Fencing Industry have depended on us to provide”, said Holyoke. “With this acquisition we’re now in position to respond to the demand for our commercial grade 7/8” thick picket and ¾” thick boards,” Holyoke added. “The Ashland mill will also enable us to double our production of square posts, while maintaining the standard dimensions that are required for the professional fencing design and installation companies we work with in the New England market.”

Triple the “Green” Lumber
The addition of the Ashland facility will have other direct benefits. “The Ashland mill location will triple Katahdin’s access to FSC Certified Northern White Cedar grown in responsibly managed forests,” according to Barry Ivey, vice president of log home operations. “In meeting current and future demand for environmentally-friendly or ‘green’ homes and fencing, this acquisition will further position Katahdin to respond to expanding market share,” he added.

Founded in 1973 by Foster Gordon and two associates, Katahdin Forest Products is one of the largest log home manufacturers and fencing producers in the U.S. and is a top processor of Northern White Cedar in the world. Katahdin has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification from the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program used in “green” construction. David Gordon continues his father’s legacy by providing high quality, cedar log homes and fencing at affordable prices. Based in Oakfield, Maine, Katahdin Forest Products has more than 80 employees.

For more information, visit their website: