Rough and Ready Lumber closed for good, selling everything in auction

A "Danger: Keep Out" sign hangs off machinery at the Rough and Ready Lumber mill in Cave Junction. The business is selling everything in an auction on Nov. 2nd and 3rd. (KTVL/Mike Marut)

Cave Junction, Ore. - After generations of business and nearly closing its doors multiple times, Rough and Ready Lumber, LLC is closing its doors with no chance of reopening - it's auctioning off everything on the property on Nov. 2nd and 3rd.

Secretary Treasurer Jennifer Phillippi Krauss says there's no silver lining to this.

"We've just given up," Phillippi Krauss said. "We've done everything we know how, and we can't think of anything else to do."

A few years ago, the business had hope because of laws requiring the Bureau of Land Management to bring them logs and winning some federal contracts.

"Some other legal action happened and the BLM just came to a screeching halt," Phillippi Krauss said. "We had been successful bidders on eight or nine federal timber sales and felt pretty good about things and then it all came to a stop and that volatility you can't handle as a business."

Rough and Ready Lumber helped many of its 85 workers get new jobs at other lumber mills, but for some workers, it's another story.

Lonnie Adams has worked at the mill for 35 years.

"I want to stay in the valley, I don't want to leave," Adams said. "Glendale, I can get a job, but gotta travel? No I'm not going to travel. Go to the coast? Southcoast? I've been offered a job there but that's a long ways. I'm getting where I don't want to travel that much. If I was 25, yeah I'd jump on it and do it."

Right now he says he's lost.

"Now they're shutting down, well they shut down - now they're selling everything. I didn't want to see that. I was hoping somebody would come in and buy it. I'm just hoping something opens up in the valley. A big place like this who will employ people with a good job."

Adams says he might open his own business to help provide jobs around Illinois Valley. Rough and Ready Lumber also applied for the Trade Act to help its workers go back to school to access more jobs in the future.

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