A job at the lumber mills in Columbia Falls was supposed to be the kind of job you’d have forever. But forever came to an end last Friday, when the Weyerhaeuser Company sawed its last logs at its lumber and plywood mills in the industrial heart of the Flathead Valley. The mills had been open since the late 1940s.
The closure comes just a few months after the timber giant merged with Plum Creek, which operated several mills in Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Evergreen for decades. Consolidating Plum Creek’s former plants is just good business, Weyerhaeuser spokesperson Tom Ray said last week in his office at Weyerhaeuser’s Columbia Falls headquarters, the Cedar Palace, which is also closing later this year.