Montana Public Radio

Weyerhaeuser

The view southeast over the McKillop Creek Road near Libby, Montana. The land is part of the private timber lands in northwest Montana belonging to Southern Pine Plantations.
Chris Boyer / Kestrelaerial.com

The owner of a large block of private timberland in northwest Montana says it’s likely done its last major land sale after a deal announced this week. Southern Pine Plantations sold 125,000 acres of timberland west of Kalispell.

A stack of logs.
(PD)

291,000 acres of private timberlands in northwest Montana have a new owner. Washington state-based Green Diamond closed the deal with Southern Pine Plantations this week.

The view southeast over the McKillop Creek Road near Libby, Montana. The land is part of the private timber lands in northwest Montana belonging to Southern Pine Plantations.
Chris Boyer / Kestrelaerial.com

Last week, federal officials announced a proposal maintaining public access on 100,000 acres of private timber lands in northwest Montana belonging to Southern Pine Plantations. On Wednesday, a joint statement by state officials and a nonprofit said the two are working together on an another, even-larger easement.

Map showing the proposed Lost Trail Conservation Area
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal officials are proposing 100,000 acres of conservation easements in Northwest Montana to maintain public access on recently sold private timber lands.

Truck carrying timber
Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

A Georgia-based timber and real estate company is confirming it’s the buyer of 630,000 acres of Montana timberlands from Weyerhaeuser. There was widespread speculation that the deal announced last week could cut off public access to some of that land, but Southern Pine Plantations said it will maintain that access.

Primm Meadow is meadow of old growth ponderosa pine trees a little upstream from where the Blackfoot River joins the Clark Fork, northeast of Missoula.
Eric Whitney

Last week I visited a cherished and protected little piece of Montana. It's a meadow of old growth ponderosa pine trees a little upstream from where the Blackfoot River joins the Clark Fork, northeast of Missoula.

A member of the Flathead Hotshots walks the fire line at the edge of a prescribed burn near Lakeside this spring
Nicky Ouellet

Fire season arrived in Montana this month. As crew leaders set up command centers and assess the flames, they’re seeing the product of previous management decisions that have shaped the forest.

Montana’s Washington delegation today announced the Whitefish Lake Watershed Project will receive $2 million in federal funding.

Weyerhaeuser closed its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls last week.
Eric Whitney

A job at the lumber mills in Columbia Falls was supposed to be the kind of job you’d have forever. But forever came to an end last Friday, when the Weyerhaeuser Company sawed its last logs at its lumber and plywood mills in the industrial heart of the Flathead Valley. The mills had been open since the late 1940s.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock announces the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative at Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake Montana August 16, 2016..
Corin Cates-Carney

In June, Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock was elected chairman of the Western Governors' Association. The WGA is made up of 14 Republicans, six Democrats and two independents.

Tuesday, Bullock announced that he’s launching a new WGA initiative. He’s calling it the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.

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