Lights out at Rushmore Forest Products

KC Bunch
Rushmore Forest Products is preparing to officially shut down completely in Hill City after the announcement back in April of this year. The sawmill ownership attempted to keep the moulder running into 2022, but has since decided that the last day of operations will be Friday, Oct. 8. 
Most all of the lumber stored on the sawmill grounds has now been sold and hauled away. The log yard has been depleted of its normal stash. Most of the smaller pieces of equipment and vehicles have been sold and hauled away.  The valley that once bustled with the sawmill activity is almost silent now and soon will be completely quiet.
After the moulder shuts down on Friday, about seven or eight electrical and maintenance personnel will remain at the property until all of the auctioned equipment is cut away and sold to other businesses. 
As the sawmill has been a part of the community for so many decades, the shutdown has already taken its toll on Hill City in terms of employment. Many employees have been able to either retire or find other employment within driving distance of Hill City, but some workers have been displaced and have moved out of the area. 
It is not known if the property itself will be placed for sale, as some forestry offices are still located on part of the grounds. Whatever the outcome of that decision is, the loss of a major job provider in the center of the Black Hills is expected to have far reaching and long lasting repercussions on the economy of Hill City and the surrounding area.

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