From a starting universe of approximately 1,300 Canadian and American sawmills, 149 were permanently closed between 1996 and 2003. This figure does not include small portable or part-time operations. These mills represented 17.6 million m3 of capacity, nearly 12% of the 1995 industry total. On the other hand, 25 new mills brought on-line have offset 4.9 million m3 of lost production potential. Further, upgrades to existing sawmills have added 31 million m3 of capacity. The region most severely impacted by closures was the U.S. West, which accounted for over half of all the capacity lost. Other regions fared better, with the U.S. South and eastern Canada losing the least, the U.S. North and British Columbia taking somewhat higher losses. Overall, however, each major producing region gained capacity when all changes are accounted for.
Spelter, Henry. Sawmill closures, openings, and net capacity changes in the softwood lumber sector, 1996-2003 [electronic resource]. (Research paper FPL-RP ; 603). Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 12 p.