For immediate release April 25, 2016, (Loyalton, Calif.) – The University of California entered into an agreement to purchase the entire Sierra Pacific Industries property to develop a regional educational facility that will advance the study of wood and forest product technology, bio fuels, forest health and biomass energy production and cogeneration. Sierra County supervisor Paul Roan hosted a press conference on Earth Day (Friday, April 22) in Loyalton to make this announcement, attended by approximately 40 residents and community leaders. The Sierra Pacific Industries property consists of 212 acres of land zoned for industrial, business park or residential opportunities, and is located on the former sawmill site immediately south of the city of Loyalton. The purchase of this property has been under consideration since the spring of 2015. “Sierra County has been actively engaged in meetings, negotiations and coordination to discuss the future of the Sierra Pacific Industries property, with groups such as the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Sierra Business Council, US Forest Service, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, Northern Sierra Partnership, Sierra Pacific Industries and others to create, support, and implement a regional project that will have immediate and lasting impacts on our communities,” said Roen. Additionally, the County has been meeting with California Conservation Corps (CCC) representatives who are committed to looking at a full service CCC facility to also be located on this property, to serve the increasing needs of the region. “This project showcases the success and effectiveness of our local government and represents the birth of a project that has many environmental benefits, economic potential, and regional significance. The research facility will provide local employment opportunities, an increased source of local and regional commerce, and will stimulate housing construction,” said Roen. “Sierra County will be the recipient of a modern, technologically advanced educational facility that will introduce a large number of people to the Sierra Valley while bringing regional and nationwide recognition.” Other benefits that this project brings to the region include the potential for partnerships, the ability to develop cooperative ventures, economic and business opportunities that will be stimulated locally, an investment in public and private capital into this region, and factors individually and collectively that offer an opportunity not seen or available in the area’s recent history, according to Roen. Supervisor Roan issued a press release following the press conference, which is expected to run in the next issues of the Sierra Booster and Mountain Messenger. The announcement contains details about the roles the collaborators are playing in the effort, along with additional specifics about Sierra County’s involvement.
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