Seventy years of lumber production will come to an end this week when the Weyerhaeuser Company starts to shut down its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls.

Weyerhaeuser Montana Resources Team Leader Tom Ray said lumber production will end Aug. 19, although some employees will stay on for a few weeks after to plane and ship the final loads. The closure comes nearly two months after the Seattle-based timber giant announced it was shuttering two mills in the Flathead Valley.

Weyerhaeuser’s medium-density fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls and its two mills in Evergreen will continue to operate. Ray said 146 employees from Columbia Falls would be reassigned to the mills in Evergreen. Seventy-two mill workers will lose their jobs once the closure is final. Another 100 people employed at Weyerhaeuser’s administrative office in Columbia Falls will also lose their jobs later this year when their duties are moved to Washington.

Plum Creek first opened a sawmill in Columbia Falls in 1946. Plum Creek was taken over by Weyerhaeuser earlier this year.

From the Flathead Beacon: