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Montana wood products industry receives financial help from federal government

The Montana wood products industry recently received $5 million from the U.S. Forest Service
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Posted at 8:05 AM, May 21, 2024

MISSOULA — The Montana woods products industry recently received financial support thanks to the U.S. Forest Service under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

A total of eight companies, consisting of sawmills, wood products manufacturers and logging operations, received grant money — totaling $5 million across all eight — for innovation and infrastructure assistance.

Below is the funding amount for each company:

  • Kanduch Logging: $229,973
  • Panhandle Forest Products: $300,000
  • Montana Technology Enterprise Center: $300,000
  • California Hotwood, Inc.: $189,045
  • Sun Mountain Lumber, Inc.: $1,000,000
  • Stillwater Post and Pole LLC: $1,000,000
  • SmartLam NA Enterprises US, LLC: $1,000,000
  • Panhandle Forest Products Inc.: $1,000,000

Infrastructure assistance is funding meant to help the mills and manufacturers upgrade and replace old machinery and equipment.
Besides helping replace old machinery and equipment, this grant money will also help the companies continue to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to help promote and maintain healthy forests — mainly by reducing the amount of fuel for wildfires and increasing forest resilience to fire.

The source of the funding — besides the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act — comes from the U.S. Forest Service’s annual appropriations.
Following the recent turmoil the forest products industry has seen over the past months with the closures of Roseburg Forest Products and Pyramid Mountain Lumber, the U.S. Forest Service is hopeful this funding will help preserve and foster growth within the industry.

U.S. Forest Service State Deputy Director of Tribal and Private Forestry Jen Hensiek said that, “We want to see them be viable and invest in those markets where we think they can be successful.”

With these investments, the U.S. Forest Service hopes that the wood products industry will continue to allow the manufacturers and mills to support the communities around them by bringing employment and general economic benefits.