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Oct 19, 2012 6:05 PM by Robin O'Day - KPAX News

A look at the Missoula-area timber industry

MISSOULA- The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce says the wood industry in Western Montana is not dead and on Friday, 45 people attended the chamber's annual Timber Tour that was held at McCormick Park.

The days of bustling timber mills may be over, but people are still finding a way to make their mark in the timber industry.

After climbing aboard the bus, the group headed to the former Stimson Mill site in Bonner for a guided bus tour of their present day operations of chipping and shipping.

Although the wood industry has undergone huge changes in the last several decades, local leaders say there is still opportunity to make money, create jobs and manage the forests.

"Things are changing and it's been a hard few years, but this is a strong industry and a strong community. It's improving and I think it will continue to improve and there are a lot of opportunities out there, especially for these folks that are thinking outside of the box and doing new and exciting things," says Sarah Lyngholm, Missoula Chamber of Commerce Forestry Services Committee Chair.

From Bonner, the group traveled to Potomac to see some active logging and then headed to Lubrecht Forest to look at some recent harvesting.

Contributions from local businesses and the wood products community made the Chamber's Timber Tour a free event for the public.

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