MTPR

Julia Altemus

The U.S Senate Monday confirmed Sonny Perdue as secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture . USDA oversees ag and forest policies directly affecting rural states like Montana.

Absaroka Range
Courtesy Rick and Susie Graetz

After languishing for over two decades in the U.S. House, a sweeping wilderness bill now gets its first shot in the Senate.

In April, the Trump administration placed tariffs on softwood lumber coming from across the border.
PD

High-rise wood-framed buildings are rare in the United States, but that may change. Senator Steve Daines has signed on to a bill to accelerate research and development of what are called "tall wood buildings."

Weyerhaeuser is buying Plum Creek Timber for over $8 billion. Montana Wood Products Association Executive Vice President, Julia Altemus suspects the merger agreement will have little impact on Montana’s remaining wood products industry, including Plum Creek’s medium density fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls.

Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

Ninety employees of Tricon Timber in St. Regis were laid off Friday. The company's website says it’s one of the largest employers in western Montana's Mineral county.

The Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

The U.S House has approved a $585 billion defense bill that includes unrelated provisions to expand wilderness areas. The vote was 300 to 119.

The measure allows President Obama to expand America's military mission against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. It now moves to the Senate where some Republicans object to the unrelated wilderness measures announced yesterday.

Montana's congressional delegation heralded the suite of included land bills as a historic, rare display of collaboration and Congressional bipartisanship. Some Montana environmental groups agree.

Montana’s Forest Products Week

Oct 14, 2014

October 17 through the 24 marks the fourth annual Montana “Forest Products Week”.  In 2011, the state legislature set aside a week, every October, to recognize the importance of Montana’s forest products industry, their contribution to the management of our forest lands, to Montana’s economy, and to the stability of our timber-dependent communities.

Megafire Trends

Sep 15, 2014

This week, the Montana Wood Products Association holds its annual convention marking 42 years as a trade association dedicated to preserving and promoting Montana’s wood products industry. 

The Need For Comprehensive Federal Forest Reforms

Aug 19, 2014

There has been quite a bit of opinion writing lately about whether members of congress should focus on place-based federal forestland pilots, or whether they should work to pass comprehensive federal forest reforms.

On the one hand, place-based efforts are homegrown initiatives that carve out temporary solutions to meet local needs, while a comprehensive reform package offers sweeping changes that land managers, timber companies and timber-dependent communities can rely on for the long-term.

Well, it looks like the Forest Service has done it to themselves again.  By this I mean the recent Federal Register notice announcing the agency is undertaking the writing of national Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Water Quality Protection on National Forest System lands.

Pages