As Pressure Mounts on Private Timber Companies to Convert Forestland for Development, Many in Northwest Montana Choose to Conserve

If the growing scrum of land and development interests bearing down on the intermountain west were to attend a formal gala, the region’s swaths of privately owned forestlands would surely stand out as the belle of the ball.

And yet, as America’s working forestlands endure an unprecedented degree of pressure to convert their traditional bases to non-forest uses, including by subdividing parcels for trophy homes, many private timber companies in Northwest Montana and Idaho would prefer to remain a wallflower.