Wis. wood salvage firm debuts on reality TVby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
DULUTH, Minn. — A Superior, Wis., company that reclaims old growth lumber from a grain elevator was making its debut Sunday night on a reality TV show called "Ax Men."
The company, Wisconsin Woodchuck, harvests eastern white pine 2x6 boards from the Old Globe grain elevator located on the Duluth Harbor.
The company was hit hard by the recession, said Judy Peres, a co-founder of Wisconsin Woodchuck. She said she hopes the History Channel show gives the company the exposure it needs to survive.
"This is our Hail Mary pass. The business is in trouble," she said, "and without a miracle, we're going to go down, the bank is going to foreclose, and our great fear is that this wood is going to be lost forever."
Wisconsin Woodchuck formed in 2005 to harvest 6 million board feet of pine that was part of the structure of the grain elevator.
Peres said at one time it was the largest grain elevator in the world.
"We're talking gigantic," Peres said. "I compare it to dismantling the pyramids."
She said the company has salvaged less than 20 percent of the grain elevator's lumber.
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