(KPAX) Missoula County is suffering another timber industry closure.

Roseburg Forest Products will be shutting down its Missoula facility later this Spring. The company has announced it "will permanently end operations" at the particleboard plant on May 22.

According to a news release, "The closure is the final step in the company’s strategic plan to exit the particleboard manufacturing business and focus resources on other product segments, including MDF, engineered wood, plywood, and lumber."
The decision to permanently close a plant is always difficult.

"It is especially difficult with our Missoula operation as we complete our exit from the particleboard marketplace,” Roseburg’s President and CEO Stuart Gray said. “Unfortunately, Missoula’s older platform and technology is simply not competitive from a cost structure perspective in a marketplace with many new, modern particleboard facilities."

“We know this closure will have a significant impact on our team members there, and thus, our primary objective with this closure is to assist them through this transition as smoothly as possible,” Gray said. The plant currently employs approximately 150 team members. Roseburg will work closely with local resources to assist affected team members as the closure date approaches."

Missoula Mayor Andrea Davis released the following statement following Wednesday's announcement:

"It’s with great sadness that we learned of the closure of Roseburg Forest Products."

"We’ve talked with them in recent years about how to keep their business robust and functioning, but ultimately it’s their decision to move forward as a private business."

"Roseburg managers have many decisions to make about the future of their property, and we are ready to assist with development in any ways that we can. But right now our thoughts are with the 150 Roseburg employees and their futures. We’re grateful for the resources of the State Rapid Retraining Response Unit through the Job Service and the Montana Department of Labor & Industry and for assistance from the Missoula Economic Partnership with its Dislocated Work Resource Guide."

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte also commented on the Roseburg plant closure.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) released the following statement on Wednesday:

“Roseburg Forest Products has created good paying jobs that have helped power the Missoula economy for decades, and Senator Tester is disappointed to see it close. The Senator has been in touch with company leadership and local officials, and will work to provide any available assistance to the people and families affected.”

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) released the following statement:

“The impending closure of Roseburg Forest Products is a huge blow to the Missoula community. Roseburg has been an important part of Montana's wood products sector and a major employer in the area. This is incredibly disappointing news.”

Montana Wood Products Association executive director Julia Altemus stated that "there's been better days" and "we're still processing the closure and it's hard to say what the impacts will be."

Altemus also told MTN News that "the loss of these 200 good paying jobs for Missoula County is awful."

According to the company website, the plant has been running since 1969. Roseburg purchased the Missoula plant in 2003.

The news comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake is closing.