Journal of Social Change


Reduced demand for wood and wood products resulting from the economic crisis in the first decade of the 2000s severely impacted the forest industry throughout the world, causing large forest-based organizations to close (CBC News, 2008; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2009; Pepke, 2009). The result was a dramatic increase in unemployment and worker displacement among forest product workers between 2011 and 2013 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). Forested rural communities often depended on the large-scale forest industry for their livelihood, and as a result, decreased reliance on large-scale industry became increasingly important (Lupo, 2015). This article explores portable-sawmill-based entrepreneurship as an opportunity to promote social change in the local community. Results indicated that portable-sawmill-based small businesses created community development opportunities, which promoted social change in the larger community through farm business expansion, conservation efforts to improve local community development, and niche market creation in the local or larger community.