The Star-Herald

Seven Islands closes Ashland hardwood floor company

ASHLAND, Maine — The Seven Islands Land Company has ended production at its hardwood floor subsidiary MooseWood Millworks, but is aiming to find another use for the factory space.

MooseWood Millworks ended operations Monday morning due to “economic constraints” and “competition from larger manufacturers,” according to MooseWood general manager Alex Ingraham.

“The decision is a difficult one and we understand the impact this will have on the employees and the community,” Ingraham said in a media release.

Ingraham said that MooseWood’s 20 employees — 18 full timers and 2 part timers — will be able to apply for open jobs in other mill operations within the Seven Islands Land Company families, which include the Maine Woods Co. sawmill in Portage

While it’s unclear if there are open positions for all of the affected employees, Ingraham said through a spokesperson that Aroostook County’s forestry industry is generally facing “an employee shortage.”

Seven Islands acquired MooseWood Millworks from Kelly Lumber in June 2012. MooseWood’s products included finished and unfinished solid flooring made from lower grade maple and birch acquired from the Maine Woods Co. mill.

In an interview last year, former MooseWood manager Scott Ferland said that the hardwood flooring market was “very challenging,” with competition from larger natural wood flooring makers and less-expensive synthetic floors.

In the press release, Ingraham said that Seven Islands wants to repurpose the MooseWood mill “to produce value added products for its affiliated companies,” but that it would be “too early” to mention specific ideas.

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