Montana Governor Steve Bullock presented an award on Tuesday to Willis Industries in Bonner to kick off the annual Montana Forest Products Week activities.

Willis Enterprises began operation of a pulp-wood chipping facility in Bonner in 2011. The operation provides an important economic outlet small-diameter trees that cannot be processed by sawmills, but can be converted into wood pulp used for paper.


In addition, Bullock announced a release of millions of dollars to assist the timber industry in Montana.

"Today, I'm pleased to announce that I'm directing another $2 million to continue our efforts to accelerate forest restoration efforts on private and tribal lands in the state, with particular emphasis in areas close to loggers who can quickly implement the projects, and mills that need an affordable supply of timber," Bullock said. "I'll hold another $1.5 million at the ready as we all work together in this industry to watch how the softwood markets develop and see how much more we can accomplish. In addition, I'm willing to commit another $1 million for projects on Forest Service lands, provided that the agency comes in with a significant match with new federal investments."

The award ceremony was a feature event of Montana Forest Products Week, a celebration honoring Montana’s forest products industry running October 18-24, 2015.