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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Forest Management

Welcome to DNRC Forestry Management Bureau

A statewide team of foresters, managers, hydrologists, biologists, and planners collectively manage over 780,000 acres of forested state trust lands for the benefit of the common schools and other institutions in Montana. As state trust land managers, they work under the direction of the Board of Land Commissioners (the top five elected officials). The Forest Management Program accounts for approximately 10% of the Trust Land Management Division’s total revenue.

FMB Programs

Forest Product Sales

Revenue from forested trust lands comes mainly from the sale of forest products. This program includes all activities required to grow, harvest, and sell forest products efficiently. All timber sales and permits are developed, analyzed, and reviewed in the field by foresters and resource specialists. Statute directs DNRC to sell a consistent amount of timber each year, which in turn provides a consistent revenue source for the trust beneficiaries and a consistent source of material for the wood products industry. The current annual sustained yield from trust lands is 58.4 million board feet. Results from the 2020 sustainable yield calculation will increase this to 60 million board feet in fiscal year 2022.

Forest Improvement

The forest improvement program uses fees from harvested timber to improve the health, productivity, and income potential of forested trust lands.

Some forest improvements include:

  • Tree planting
  • Precommercial thinning
  • Site preparation
  • Prescribed burning
  • Seed collection
  • Access acquisition and road maintenance
  • Noxious weed control

Forest Inventory

The forest inventory program is responsible for collection and analysis of forest resource inventory data. Development and maintenance of geographic information system (GIS) stand level resource data supports planning of forest management activities, environmental analyses, and other activities.

Resource Management

This program provides technical assistance to field staff in hydrology, soils, geology, fisheries, wildlife, road engineering, and many other divisions.

Technical assistance includes:

  • Field reviews
  • Project analysis
  • Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) preparation
  • Mitigation measures
  • Timber sale document review
  • Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) implementation

Resource Management also reviews, evaluates, and monitors activities on forested state trust lands.