Baucus, Tester announce grant to support jobs at Stoltze Lumber
Senators highlight initiative as one more reason House must pass Farm Bill
(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus today announced a new grant to help Stoltze Lumber in Columbia Falls create jobs and keep Montana’s forests healthy.
Tester and Baucus announced that Stoltze will receive more than $210,000 from the U.S. Forest Service to develop and improve its biomass facility, which turns trees and forest debris too small for commercial logging into energy.
The Forest Service grant is part of an agency initiative to encourage the use of renewable energy resources such as woody biomass. The initiative is supported by the Farm Bill, which expires in September. Tester and Baucus supported a five-year, bipartisan reauthorization of the Farm Bill that passed the Senate earlier this month, but the House of Representatives failed to pass a similar measure last week.
Tester and Baucus supported Stoltze’s bid for the Forest Service grant.
“This smart investment will help Stoltze put more Montanans to work by responsibly developing our natural resources and taking care of our forests,” Tester said. “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.”
“This grant means real jobs that will help hard-working Montana families make ends meet,” Baucus said. “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.”
“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. 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.
For more information about the role of wood biomass in energy production, click HERE.