Bob Brown has a pretty good opinion piece in this week’s Hungry Horse News discussing the increasing importance of citizen-based collaborative forest agreements. It’s good background on an increasingly important way of getting diverse interests to work together . . .
Last month, Chuck Roady, vice president and general manager of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co., a family-owned sawmill that has been operating in Northwest Montana for more than 100 years, traveled to Washington, D.C., to share with the powers that be what it’s like to run a mill in Montana.
At the invitation of Rep. Steve Daines, Roady spoke to the House Natural Resources Committee about the web of lawsuits that too often ensnare federal timber sales. He called it, with good reason, “endless litigation.”
Roady reminded the lawmakers that lawsuits have forced the Forest Service to spend as much as $350 million a year on “timber sale analysis.” That’s tax money that could be productively spent on the ground, on projects that create lunch-bucket jobs, improve forest health and reduce the threat of increasingly deadly and destructive fires.
Before we Montanans hold our collective breath waiting for Congress to cut the web and ax the analysis, we might take heart by looking closer to home. Here in Montana, some forward-thinking people have simply gone ahead and taken the responsibility of finding homegrown solutions to resource issues . . .