A $10 million loan has been secured to reopen the Fort Apache Timber Company (FATCO) sawmill in Whiteriver on the White Mountain Apache Nation. The funding will provide working capital, support the repair and replacement of equipment, and rebuild the log deck.
The White Mountain Apache Tribe estimates the sawmill reopening will create 185 jobs.
“This is exciting news for the White Mountain Apache Tribe,” said WMAT Chairman Ronnie Lupe. “The reopening of FATCO is a critical piece of economic development in our community and throughout the region.”
The sawmill will also help ensure the tribe has a pivotal role in restoring forest health and economic development to the region as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is implemented. The overall goal of 4FRI is to restore the structure and composition of our forests, which will reduce forest fires while improving forest health, wildlife and plant diversity. Local businesses, such as FATCO, will play a role in the harvesting, processing and selling of timber products.