New owners at work on mill property in McCloud

Shareen Strauss

McCloud Partners, LLC, new owners of the McCloud mill site have started cleaning up the mill property.

Ron Mort, contractor and partner with McCloud Partners, LLC, said beetle infested and fungus trees are being cut down, the wooded area around McCloud that belongs to the property is being thinned, and underbrush is being cleared for fire suppression.

The mill property borders Hoo Hoo Park on Colombero Street in McCloud where “Historic Mill Site” signs have recently been posted.

“Look at what happened to Hat Creek after the fires. It is a wake up call. It has been 25 years since this wooded area has been managed. Forester consultant Ron Berryman advised Nestle when they first bought it that the wooded areas needed thinning out,” said Mort. "Right now we are thinning out the trees for their health; there is no ill intent. We have projects planned for the trees we harvest, even the rotted trees.”

Mort said he has already started to recycle the wood from decayed trees that they put aside for furniture projects.

Helping Mort on the projects, Blake Hanson shows a table top being constructed of rotted Ponderosa Pine that looks solid. “You couldn’t pick it up on the sides, the wood was so rotten when we started working on this,” said Hanson.

“To remove trees like this cost between $800 and $1,000 per tree. I am having them take down two beetle infected trees in front of Hoo Hoo Park while they are working in this area. Instead of charging the district, they agreed to just keep the trees,” said McCloud Community Services District General Manager Wayne Grigsby.

“They hired a local who is bringing his portable sawmill on-site so they can reuse and recycle the wood. They are a good steward of the land and a good neighbor to the community keeping their dollars local,” added Grigsby.

Bruce Berlinger, also a partner in McCloud Partners, LLC, said the mill property has been a popular site for dog walkers, cross country skiers and local photographers. It has also attracted vandalism through the years.

Posted on the Historic Mill Site is a phone number to call for access to the property: (530) 355-7600.

“We want to be a good influence and part of the community. We have no intent on closing off the property,” said Berlinger. “We want the dog walkers to still come on the property; they will help keep an eye on things and detour the vandalism. For our insurance, we need them to sign a waiver for being on the property.”