Transforming Louisiana’s forests into various tree-based products… is a growing business as developers are on track to build $557 million of sawmill projects in the state. The newest is a $240 million sawmill planned in Bienville Parish by a joint venture between Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries, based in Vernon, British Columbia. The companies plan to use local timber to produce 320 million board feet of lumber annually from 1.3 million tons of trees. Each partner will own 50% of the new mill… but will be operated on a day-to-day basis by Hunt Forest Products. …In exchange for the investment, the Louisiana Economic Development department offered the companies the use of its workforce training program. The businesses are on track to receive $2 million as a performance-based grant if businesses hit investment milestones and payroll. In addition, the project could qualify for up to 80% property tax break.