Together with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Governor Greg Gianforte announced that the State of Montana reached its goal to more than double the number of forested acres put under management in 2021.
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Under the leadership of Director Amanda Kaster, the DNRC placed a collective 25,000 forested acres under management. In 2020, the state treated approximately 11,000 acres.
“We set an ambitious forestry target for the year to match the urgency of the forest health crisis we face. Thanks to the leadership of Director Kaster and the hard work of the DNRC team, we were able to reach it and more than double the number of acres treated by the state this year,” Governor Gianforte said. “Forest health issues jeopardize our communities, infrastructure, jobs, and way of life, and we’ll continue to address them with the urgency they require.”
Earlier this year, Governor Gianforte tasked the DNRC with increasing the pace and scale of active management across the state.
By utilizing all available programs and authorities, including Trust Lands Management, Good Neighbor Authority, the Montana Forest Action Plan, and state and private forestry funding, the DNRC was able to able to improve and expand forest management across Montana.
The forested acres under management include forest restoration and management projects that are ongoing, under contract, or recently completed.
“Nearly 9 million acres of forested land in Montana are considered to have elevated wildfire risk and degraded forest health conditions,” DNRC Director Amanda Kaster said. “Active forest management remains a top priority for the DNRC and our partners. We look forward to continuing this important work statewide.”
Cross-boundary agreements across federal, state, and private land continue to drive treatment to protect Montana communities and natural resources, including mechanical treatments, such as thinning or logging, prescribed fire, and various service restoration projects. ■