CLAW Forestry breaks ground on new mill in Southwest Mississippi

Source: CLAW Forestry

Contact: Tedrick Ratcliff
CLAW Forestry


Gloster, Miss. (Sept. 27, 2022) – CLAW Forestry held a groundbreaking ceremony today at the site of its new Amite County sawmill, which will be named Gloster Forest Products.

The mill represents a corporate investment of nearly $200 million and will create 131 jobs and support an additional 200 indirect jobs when operating at full capacity. CLAW Forestry announced the Gloster Forest Products project in April.

The new mill will require more than 1 million tons of timber annually to produce approximately 250 million board feet of lumber. The facility will be located on 65 acres of land, which includes the former Georgia Pacific site. In connection with the new sawmill facility, efforts are underway to resume operation of the Gloster Southern Railroad to further revitalize industry and jobs in the underserved community.

Gloster Forest Products is slated to begin manufacturing lumber in early 2024.




“This groundbreaking on CLAW Forestry’s new mill is a tremendous event that marks the next step toward bringing hundreds of job opportunities to Gloster and Amite County. Congratulations to all who made today possible, and I greatly look forward to seeing the success of the mill.”– Gov. Tate Reeves


“Mississippi’s abundance of natural resources attracts significant investments from leading agribusiness companies. As a result, they generate hundreds of jobs in the communities where they open new operations, like the town of Gloster. The groundbreaking on CLAW Forestry’s new sawmill – Gloster Forest Products – is a milestone event in the development of this project, and it is one in which the local community and Amite County should take great pride. MDA congratulates the CLAW Forestry team and our economic development partners who have worked diligently from day one to bring this exciting project to fruition.” – MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp 


“The decision to locate CLAW Forestry’s latest capital investment project, Gloster Forest Products, in Gloster and Amite County was important to our Mississippi-based company. Between the timber natural resources and the support of the town, county, state, and congressional leadership, we know we made the right decision. Now begins the real work as our company commences construction and works rapidly to build a state-of-the art sawmill in Southwest Mississippi. We look forward to being a strong partner in the local community.” – Billy VanDevender, CEO, CLAW Forestry Services, LLC and Gloster Forest Products


“The town of Gloster welcomes Gloster Forest Products. The $200 million capital investment is the largest in our town’s recent history, and with the creation of 131 new full-time jobs, the effects will be multi-generational. The town of Gloster is proud to be the location of such an outstanding company, and we would like to thank the Gloster Forest Products team for its faith and investment in our community.” Mayor Jerry Norwood, Town of Gloster


“Amite County is thrilled with the groundbreaking of Gloster Forest Projects. This new sawmill will be a beacon of economic growth in our county and region. We look forward to providing continued support throughout construction and operations of the new sawmill.” Jackie Whittington, President, Amite County Board of Supervisors

“The Gloster Forest Products groundbreaking publicly recognizes the abundant timber resources of our region, business-friendly leadership, and hardworking mentality of our people. The new sawmill will help solidify the impact Southwest Mississippi has on the forest products industry nationally and help further strengthen our regional and state economy. It is a win-win truly made possible by private and public collaboration.” Angela Cockerham, Mississippi House of Representatives, District 96

“Southwest Electric is thrilled to welcome a new member to our region. Gloster Forest Products will be an industry vital to our community and membership, and we were pleased to play a small part in supporting this investment through Cooperative Energy’s Cooperative Competes grant program. The real work begins today, and our Cooperative stands ready to meet the new sawmill’s needs for generations to come.” – Kevin Bonds, CEO and General Manager, Southwest Electric