Fire in a lumber mill is never a good thing. So in 1998 when fire devastated Rayonier Incorporated’s Plummer, Idaho sawmill, it left 125 workers in this small town stunned and worried about their futures. Then Todd Brinkmeyer stepped in with a new vision, and from the ashes of a disaster, Plummer Forest Products was born.
In 1999, Plummer purchased the mill site and built the first small log saw mill in Idaho.
A collaborative effort between PFP and other local stakeholders worked to save the plants 85 industrial jobs. Many challenges in equipment, design, and resource were overcome and the results produced 110 million board feet of stud lumber per year. The plant’s output was sold in a variety of channels and geographical markets. The Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions were the core of PFP’s customer base.
The new Plummer Sawmill provided other benefits to the community as well. The plant also used wood waste to generate electricity. This 5 megawatt wood fueled cogeneration plant produces sustainable green power for 900 homes without the use of fossil fuels.
A New Direction
In 2006 Plummer Forest Products entered its next phase of the company’s evolution. The lumber mill was sold to Stimson Lumber Company, who still operates the plant today. PFP continued to invest in land and timber assets. This led to an investment in mobile whole log chipping and the Plummer Forest Products trucking fleet. Since its inception, our chipping business has continuously earned reinvestment, and in 2016 Plummer invested in a fourth generation of chipping equipment. It is a new electric chipping operation, and secured a long term customer agreement.
Plummer Forest Products Particleboard Division
Potlatch’s Post Falls Particleboard plant was built in 1975. The plant operated for 35 years as a quality yet obscure Potlatch asset. When the recession of 2007 hit, the composite panel industry was devastated. Western mills were running at less than 30% of capacity. In 2009, Potlatch decided the plant was no longer a core asset to their Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) structure and began looking for a buyer. Plummer Forest Products closed the purchase of the Post Falls Particleboard Plant in March of 2010. Since the PFP takeover the plant has been on an impressive run. During the recession, Plummer was able to return to a 4 shift operating schedule. Key investments in equipment upgrades, environmental performance, safety, and value added processing have revitalized the plant’s future. This particleboard plant was the first mill in North America to produce wood particleboard using a formaldehyde free resin system. Our product line has been reintroduced under the EnStron brand name. EnStron means environmentally strong, and under Plummer Forest Products ownership, the plants future is strong as well.
“Safety is the most important thing we do” is the quote which heads every meeting and speech lead by Todd Brinkmeyer. This guiding principle was a perfect match with award winning safety culture at the Potlatch Post Falls Particleboard Plant. The mill is an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) 5-Star site and worker safety has been paramount to the sites 41 years of successful operation.
Plummer Forest Products was born from a rich heritage and love for the forest products industry. The “can do” attitude of more than 70 people working as a tight knit team, make Plummer Forest Products a flexible and unique company, always striving to improve, one breakthrough at a time.