A feature story in The Missoulian outlined the multiple goals of logging operations within the Potomac area and underscores the challenges—and opportunities—of forest management across multiple land ownerships with a goal of shared resources outcomes.
Under a headline of “Touch time for trees: Old logging lands need lots of work” the article showcases the management cooperation across jurisdictions among The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
“We weren’t there to log it and get a bunch of stuff to the mills and make money,” Chris Bryant of The Nature Conservancy says in the article. “This work is cost — an investment in the forest. We’re trying to find ways of getting that cost down so it makes it possible to do things at scale.”
The Nature Conservancy in Montana owns a significant amount of forestland in the area and is working to transfer the lands into public ownership.
“I hope we’re humble enough to not say we’re making a forest for anything,” Bryant added. “We’re using the best available science to create a forest that’s all those things. I can’t predict 50 or 100 years from now what society is going to expect from that forest. But nobody has aspirations to get back to industrial forest management on this landscape. I don’t see an industrial timber era with practices we’ve seen in the past having any chance of being sustainable at all.”