Congressman Nolan talks timber from Grand Rapids to Bigfork

By KBJR News 1

April 14, 2014 Updated Apr 14, 2014 at 10:02 PM CDT

Grand Rapids, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- U-S Congressman Rick Nolan made his way to Grand Rapids, Minnesota today to take a ride up a road heavily used by logging trucks.

It's no secret that the timber industry is suffering.

"You know, you see how many jobs were lost in the logging industry in the last few years, not only loggers, but the mills, Blandin's cut, Boise's cut" said retired logger, Tom Moors.

One challenge for the industry is the transportation of the logs to the processing facilities. Highway 38 from Grand Rapids to Big Forks is heavily used for that purpose, and it's in bad shape, which is one reason Congressman Rick Nolan, a former sawmill owner, decided to travel the road in a logging rig to meet with people involved in the highway and industry.

"There's a special Highway 38 committee and I want to meet with them to see what they think needs to be done in order to make that road safer" said Congressman Rick Nolan.

Upon arriving in Bigfork, Congressman Nolan met with representatives of the logging industry, local elected officials and representatives from MNDOT for an update concerning the highway's reconstruction.
Congressman Nolan acknowledged the struggling paper industry and said he hopes to help by also addressing unfair federal trade practices.

"The fact is that many of our mills have been shut down because of unfair trade practices that are being allowed under these trade agreements like the North American Trade Agreement" said Nolan.

The Congressman also visited Bigfork Valley Hospital on his trip to discuss maintaining funding for rural and Critical Access hospitals.

On Wednesday, the Congressman will be in International Falls to make an announcement regarding new grants for the area.