timber industry

Workers at Smartlam's Columbia Falls plant work on cross-laminated timber or CLT.
Corin Cates-Carney

A young company in Columbia Falls is finding success in developing new construction material, and they’ve just received a federal grant to help push that success to the next stage.

courtesy photo

Yesterday, in a story about attempts to boost revenue for Montana counties that are mostly federal land, Montana Senator Jon Tester made the following statement: 

"Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them."

Several listeners questioned that statement, so we asked Senator Tester to respond. 

His communications director Marnee Banks said he is unavailable this week.

Mike Covey went to work for the Plum Creek timber company right after getting his forestry degree from the University of Montana in 1980, and stayed with Plum Creek for 23 years. Covey is now chairman and CEO of the Spokane-based Potlatch Corporation, another big timber holder in the Pacific Northwest.

Covey was in Missoula this week to lecture at his alma mater and he also took time to sit down in our studios with News Director Sally Mauk, to talk about the sweeping changes in the timber industry in the last few decades.