Forest Service to speak on Ariz. thinning project

Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service plans an announcement Friday on the contract for a massive thinning project in Arizona.

Pioneer Forest Products was selected in 2012 to thin 300,000 acres in four Arizona forests over 10 years. But the Montana-based company has had trouble with financing and talked to the Forest Service earlier this year about transferring its contract.

Pioneer's plan to build a plant near Winslow to convert the timber into things like laminate wood panels hasn't come to fruition.

The Forest Service says it can transfer the contract if that is in the best interest of the government.

The agency acknowledges the Four Forest Restoration Initiative is behind schedule. The first task order covering about 1,000 acres in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest was issued earlier this year.

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