Pyrénées-Orientales: a mobile sawmill that does not find its place in Cerdagne-Capcir

Raphaël Izard is confused. While he has an original idea and all the necessary equipment, he can’t find any land to settle in and no municipality (to date) can come to his aid.

“I’m just looking for agricultural land (between 5,000 and 10,000 m2) to be able to settle down, store my equipment and store wood”. Raphaël Izard is one of those dynamic 30-somethings who has ideas and, above all, know-how. This resident of La Cabanasse has an original project that has been on his mind for ten years: to offer a mobile sawmill. Cut, skid and saw directly on site to allow people to benefit from the wood they already have at home or nearby. An idea in tune with the times since it would make it possible to use local raw materials directly on the sites concerned. “This summer, for example, I was called for pruning on a property where there was to be a construction. After reflection, we offered a complete service until the boards were taken out. The owner accepted and was able to store the boards on his land. As soon as they start their construction they will already have the material, in this case local wood with an almost zero carbon footprint”.

A big industrial sawmill project that just fell through

The perfect illustration of what should be the basis of an eco-responsible construction. One of its services also enabled Altiservice to manufacture snow guards with wood taken on site. “In addition, I have equipment adapted to our forests. Here there is not necessarily the raw material that would justify a disproportionate project and it would also be an opportunity to value small batches of wood that the large sawmills would not want. and which would be destroyed. My objectives would be to saw 1,500 m3 of wood per year, to exploit local wood only, to sell finished products on the farm (planks, rafters, battens) for professionals and individuals or to offer various services to individuals, forest owners or municipalities”. Winch, front loader, trailer, tractor (…), the young dad already has all the necessary equipment and presents a project that seems viable, on a human scale and which could revitalize a struggling economic sector. Only obstacle, this ground which flees it.

“We had contacts but the prices were much too high. We also approached the surrounding mayors, but without more success”. Remember that the last mountain sawmill in the department (the Matemale intermunicipal sawmill) closed its doors in 2021. “The only thing remaining on site is the activity of crushing wood to manufacture forest chips”, explains Michel Garcia, the mayor of Matemale but also president of the Regional Natural Park. An elected official who seems not to be insensitive to Raphaël’s project, “I didn’t know about it, but it could be a good idea. We have to see where we could install it, especially since we had a big industrial sawmill project that just fell through. Investors preferred to settle in the Fenouillèdes”. The misfortune of some making the happiness of others, an alignment of logs is perhaps in the process of being put in place for Raphaël.

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Pyrénées-Orientales: a mobile sawmill that does not find its place in Cerdagne-Capcir


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