Events scheduled in Western Montana for 2012 National Forest Products Week

Western Montana events scheduled for National Forest Products WeekHow fast the last year has gone! Once again, U.S. National Forest Products Week is right around the corner with a start date of the third Sunday of October. The official dates for 2012 are October 21-27. For those that live and work in Montana (such as Forest Business Network), our state now celebrates its own Montana Forest Products Industry Week on the same dates as the national event.

Western Montana has several great commemorative events scheduled over the next couple of weeks that should be of interest to local wood product businesses and forest professionals. (We’ll keep you updated as we become aware of any others.)

Western Building Centers event in Columbia Falls, MT

Columbia Falls, Montana celebrates forest products with a “Forest to Home” themed event at the Western Building Centers retail store this Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 10am-3pm. The event’s goal is to teach attendees about the “industry’s role in creating jobs, sustaining forest communities, and managing forests.” Attendees can enjoy free burgers, hotdogs and giveaways while listening to presentations from local industry and community leaders. Wood product vendors, land managers, and industry representatives will be on hand to meet with folks throughout the day.

Wood for Haiti prototype exposition home

Wood for Haiti, a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana, has a mission of helping Haiti rebuild after its devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake. Replacing concrete homes and community centers for more earthquake-resistant structures made from wood, and providing Haitians the training to construct these new buildings, are its primary goals. Gary Funk, the organization’s President, is valiantly seeking to help millions of homeless Haitians while also finding a market for the millions of acres of North American forests infected by the pine beetle epidemic. The just cause of enabling Haitians to live in dignity and safety could be a real boost to the struggling forest products industry in Western North America.

In honor of Forest Products week, Wood for Haiti is building a prototype exposition home in the north parking lot of Southgate Mall (in Missoula). Construction starts this Friday, October 12, 2012 and goes through Sunday. The model home will remain on display through the end of October. The Montana Wood Products Association, Clawson Windows and Gateway Community Federal Credit Union have donated manpower, money and supplies for the model home. The purpose of the event is to increase Wood for Haiti’s visibility and raise $20,000 to be applied toward the cost of transporting construction materials for a prototype home to Haiti. The money will also pay expenses for a Montana building advisory team to teach the Haitians to build their first Wood for Haiti home.

Missoula, Montana Timber Tour

The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce Forest Resource Committee is putting on its 15th annual Timber Tour on Friday, October 19, 2012 from 12:30pm-6:30pm. This year’s theme is “Active-After-Alive” and aims to “inform participants about current good forestry practices and healthy forest initiatives.” The annual Missoula timber tour is always a highlight and this year will be no exception with tours of active logging sites, chipping facilities, research and regeneration sites and more. Check out the full schedule and register for this excellent, no-cost event (includes a free social and dinner).

Western Montana has certainly expanded this year’s commemoration of National Forest Products Week and Montana Forest Products Industry Week. I’d love to know – Are there any events occurring in your area or state to honor the forest products industry? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Craig Rawlings

Craig Rawlings is the president & CEO of Forest Business Network and has 30 years experience in the forest products industry as an entrepreneur and technical consultant. He can be reached by calling 406.240.0300 or by using our contact form.

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