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Rubber and Wood April 02, 2024 03:00:43 PM

Last Load of Logs Delivered to Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Due to the labor shortage, they were unable to meet sustainable production amounts, forcing them into closure.

Last Load of Logs Delivered to Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): As the sleet cleared the air, the evening sun emerged with its warm rays of light bathing the land, the rumble of a lone semi began to draw closer, and closer.

That lone semi marked the beginning of the end of a 75-year era as it carried the last load of logs to be delivered at Pyramid Mountain Lumber on Friday, March 26, 2024. The mill will process that last load into August. After that, the mill will be prepared for auction.

Pyramid Mountain Lumber is closing because, with the higher day-to-day costs after after the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed to hire more people to increase production. But hiring more people was out of the company's hands as there simply weren't enough people in the area.

Due to the labor shortage, they were unable to meet sustainable production amounts, forcing them into closure.

The Seeley Lake mill has been in operation for 75 years and has been the main employer for the town. Some employees have spent the majority of their lives working there.

“Yeah, when you’re down here over three-quarters of your life and then it’s gone… it’s pretty depressing. It’s pretty sad. The day I’m not out here again. I’ll still come by and have good memories," said Gerry Wood, who has worked at the mill for 47 years.

 The closure also brings uncertainty to the employees who work at the mill.

Gerry Wood plans to retire, but for Wendy Dalrymple, that’s not an option. When asked what her plans are for after the closure she said the options are limited.

“I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I’m hoping to remain in Seeley Lake, either find another position here, or work remotely for somebody else or commute to Missoula, those are pretty much my options.”

Pyramid Mountain Lumber President Todd Johnson — who has worked at the mill ever since he was in sixth grade — took the delivery of the last load as a means to celebrate all the support that the mill has received over the years.

"A little bit like a punch in the gut I’d say is the best way I would describe it — to see that last load come in. But it made it better to have employees come and have all of our staff there," Johnson told MTN News. "Even some of the former employees who worked here 30 plus years showed up today to help us with this as well. It’s neat to see. A lot of community members showed up as well.”

That last semi represented something more than just the end of an era, it also marked the relationship that the community of Seeley Lake and Pyramid Mountain Lumber have had for 75 years.

Courtesy: www.kpax.com

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