Mark Elston followed his father into the timber industry back when business was booming.
“When I started, you could really mess things up and still make good money,” he said. “You can’t do that anymore.”
Elston runs a lumber mill in Tillamook, Ore., for Hampton Affiliates. The company has spent millions on energy efficiency and technology upgrades that allow his mill to make the most out of every log.
But despite those investments, the mill was on the ropes after the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008.