Mill Closures a ‘Punch In the Gut’ of Northwest Montana
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Officials say the loss of approximately 200 jobs in northwestern Montana will be a punch in the gut of a community that was recovering from the 2009 closure of an aluminum plant.
Timber giant Weyerhaeuser said Wednesday it will permanently close its lumber and plywood mill in Columbia Falls this summer. On top of those job losses, up to 100 administrative jobs in Columbia Falls are already in the process of being eliminated or moved to Weyerhaeuser's Seattle headquarters.
Weyerhaeuser bought Plum Creek Timber for $8.44 billion this spring. The company will continue to operate a medium-density fiberboard mill in Columbia Falls and two mills in Kalispell.
Columbia Falls insurance agent Lyle Mitchell tells the Missoulian the elimination of the 200 mill and administrative jobs will have a ripple effect across the Flathead Valley.