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Roseburg Forest Products to close Missoula facility

Roseburg Forest Products will be shutting down its Missoula facility on May 22
Roseburg Missoula
Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 20, 2024

MISSOULA — Missoula County is suffering another timber industry closure.

Roseburg Forest Products will be shutting down its Missoula facility later this Spring. The company has announced it "will permanently end operations" at the particleboard plant on May 22.

According to a news release, "The closure is the final step in the company’s strategic plan to exit the particleboard manufacturing business and focus resources on other product segments, including MDF, engineered wood, plywood, and lumber."
“The decision to permanently close a plant is always difficult. It is especially difficult with our Missoula operation as we complete our exit from the particleboard marketplace,” Roseburg’s President and CEO Stuart Gray said. “Unfortunately, Missoula’s older platform and technology is simply not competitive from a cost structure perspective in a marketplace with many new, modern particleboard facilities."

“We know this closure will have a significant impact on our team members there, and thus, our primary objective with this closure is to assist them through this transition as smoothly as possible,” Gray said. The plant currently employs approximately 150 team members. Roseburg will work closely with local resources to assist affected team members as the closure date approaches."

Roseburg Missoula Sign
Roseburg Forest Products will be shutting down its Missoula facility on May 22, 2024.

Missoula Mayor Andrea Davis released the following statement following Wednesday's announcement:

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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte also commented on the Roseburg plant closure.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) released the following statement on Wednesday:

“Roseburg Forest Products has created good paying jobs that have helped power the Missoula economy for decades, and Senator Tester is disappointed to see it close. The Senator has been in touch with company leadership and local officials, and will work to provide any available assistance to the people and families affected.”

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) released the following statement:

“The impending closure of Roseburg Forest Products is a huge blow to the Missoula community. Roseburg has been an important part of Montana's wood products sector and a major employer in the area. This is incredibly disappointing news.”

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) released the following statement regarding the plant closure announcement:

The announcement from Roseburg is another devastating blow to western Montana’s rich timber heritage and the greater community.

Within a week, two of Montana’s legacy forestry businesses announced their closures due to difficult economic headwinds caused by the Biden Administration.

Rising cost of manufacturing, energy, housing, inflation and labor shortages are all compounded by the fact that the federal forests that supply raw materials are being completely mismanaged and board feet reduced to levels that make operations unsustainable.

With no materials close by, they are forced to supply logs from farther away; the farther raw materials have to travel the more expensive it becomes. I fear we will see more announcements like these as mom and pop businesses that supplied to Pyramid and Roseburg feel the downstream effects.

I will continue to push for common sense forest management reforms and urge the Senate to pick up the House approved tax cuts and other legislation to fight inflation. My heart goes out to all the workers who are impacted and my office is preparing a list of area businesses in similar industries that are hiring.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) released the following statement:

“The Roseburg Forest Products closure in Missoula marks the second large-scale lumber operation closing this month in the Treasure State. The over 150 jobs that will be lost are a huge blow to both the timber industry and Missoula County. The Biden Admin must do a better job of utilizing our abundant timber resources before we lose any more jobs and valuable infrastructure. I am praying for quick employment and financial security for all of those who are impacted by this surprise announcement.”

Montana Wood Products Association executive director Julia Altemus stated that "there's been better days" and "we're still processing the closure and it's hard to say what the impacts will be."

Altemus also told MTN News that "the loss of these 200 good paying jobs for Missoula County is awful."

According to the company website, the plant has been running since 1969. Roseburg purchased the Missoula plant in 2003.

The news comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake is closing.

FULL COVERAGE: Roseburg Forestry Products to close Missoula plant