Stoltze Lumber picks up $200K+ federal grant


WASHINGTON, DC – A Northwest Montana company has picked up some federal money that’s aimed at bringing more jobs to the Columbia Falls Area.

Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester have announced that U.S. forest Service will be giving over $210,000, to help Stoltze Lumber in Columbia Falls create jobs and keep Montana’s forests healthy, according to a news release.

The money will be used to develop and improve its biomass facility, which turns trees and forest debris too small for commercial logging into energy.

The USFS grant is part of an agency initiative to encourage the use of renewable energy resources such as woody biomass.

“This grant means real jobs that will help hard-working Montana families make ends meet,” Baucus said in a statement. “The Senate Farm Bill helps support jobs just like these all across our state, and it’s ready to be signed into law today. There’s no excuse for the House not to take up and pass the Senate Farm Bill right away.”

“This smart investment will help Stoltze put more Montanans to work by responsibly developing our natural resources and taking care of our forests,” Tester added. “Initiatives like these help small businesses grow and create jobs while reducing the risk of wildfire. Folks in the House of Representatives need to understand what is at stake when they block the Farm Bill.”

“Stoltze takes great pride in strengthening northwest Montana’s economy and being responsible stewards of the land,” said Chuck Roady, Stoltze’s Vice President. “We appreciate Senator Baucus and Senator Tester stepping up to support our biomass project, which will help us expand our business and better manage Montana’s forests.”

Stoltze’s biomass project will employ six people while also supporting a timber harvesting workforce of 65 to 85 contractors, according to the release issued Tuesday.

The company’s biomass facility will produce energy to support 2,500 homes and improve regional air quality by reducing emissions and smoke from wildfires.