COLUMBIA FALLS, Mont. -- SmartLam, the first commercial CLT manufacturer in the U.S., hosted a conference in their home state to raise awareness for Montana's successes and potential when it comes to the North American mass timber industry.

The Montana Mass Timber Rising conference attracted more than 100 people and took place in Columbia Falls. It offered panel discussions from industry leaders and experts in Montana and Oregon, as well as a tour of SmartLam's manufacturing location.

The Montana and Oregon panels generated insightful discussions and together provided a great dialogue about mass timber in the U.S. Montana attendees found the Oregon panel’s presentations to be informative and motivational while the Montana panel impressed the crowd with upcoming projects and future plans for mass timber within the state and beyond.

SmartLam currently manufactures more than 800,000 board feet per month and ships products across North America. As the demand and market for mass timber rapidly grows, SmartLam aims to expand and build multiple manufacturing plants in U.S. in the next 18 to 24 months.

The Montana Mass Timber Rising conference coincided with the Western Governors’ Association’s annual meeting in Whitefish, where SmartLam supplied a human-scale CLT foosball field for attendees to enjoy during a networking event.

Montana Mass Timber Rising Speakers for the Oregon Panel were: Christine Lundberg, mayor, Springfield, Oregon; Timm Locke, director of forest products, Oregon Forest Resource Institute; Iain MacDonald, OSU, associate director, Tallwood Design Institute; and Bill Parsons, VP of operations, WoodWorks.

The lunch speaker was Patrick Holmes, natural resources policy advisor to Governor Steve Bullock.

The Montana Panel comprised Casey Malmquist, president, SmartLam; Tom DeLuca, dean, W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation; Brian Caldwell, principal, Thinktank Design Group; and Gordy Sanders, resource manager, Pyramid Mountain Lumber.

Montana Mass Timber Rising sponsors were Forest Business Network, SmartLam, WoodWorks, Montana DNRC, Forestry Division, F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co., Montana West Economic Development, Henkel, Costa Sanders; and University of Montana, W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation.

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