Land Board member wants to hear from those who work the forest
HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen, a member of the Montana Land Board, is touring several state logging operations today and meeting with loggers and mill workers to see for herself the science behind state forest management and gauge the effects of a recent federal court ruling that curtails logging in parts of Western Montana.
“As a land board member, I know the professionalism of Montana’s state forest managers and the men and women who work in the forest,” Lindeen said. “I wanted to see their work first-hand and hear about what’s working — and not working — to best manage Montana’s forests.”
Lindeen is touring current and past logging operations on the Swan River and Clearwater state forests. As a Land Board member, she has approved many logging operations on those and other sections of forested state land.
Late last month, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled that logging on another Western Montana state forest, the Stillwater State Forest, must be curtailed as federal land managers had not proven that grizzly bear habitat in the area would be adequately protected under the plans created by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
At least one area lumber mill has already announced that, based in part on the ruling, it is laying off 10 of its 120 employees.
Lindeen said she shares the desire to protect Montana’s grizzly bears, but believes the state’s plan was based on sound science and welcomes the state’s opportunity to explain again how Montana’s analysis would protect the grizzly.
Members of the press are welcome to attend a mill tour and conversation with employees and managers at Pyramid Lumber in Seeley Lake. Lindeen is scheduled to be at the mill around 11 a.m. Wednesday.