Gov. Gianforte Celebrates New Forest Management Agreement in Northwest Montana
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 22, 2022

LIBBY, Mont. – Continuing his 56 County Tour in Mineral, Sanders, and Lincoln counties, Governor Greg Gianforte yesterday celebrated an upcoming expansion of a forest management agreement before recognizing local recipients of the 2021 Montana Governor’s Veteran Commendation.

“I’m thrilled to be here in northwest Montana to highlight our progress in building healthier, more resilient forests through active forest management,” Gov. Gianforte said. “This announcement marks a much-needed milestone: a long-term, landscape-size forest management agreement among partners. When we actively manage our forests together, like we are in Lincoln County, we reduce wildfire risk, improve forest health, and provide greater predictability and certainty to the wood products industry.”

Kootenai National Forest

Gov. Gianforte announces expanded forest management agreement in the Kootenai National Forest

In Libby, the governor joined local leaders, staff from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and U.S. Forest Service representatives to announce a forthcoming expanded, decade-long agreement committing to treating priority wildland urban interface in the Kootenai National Forest.

Representing the governor’s objective to increase the pace and scale of forest management in Montana, the expanded Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) agreement sets a goal to treat up to 10,000 acres a year in the Kootenai National Forest. The agreement was negotiated on behalf of the state by DNRC leadership and Libby Unit.

“The dedication and commitment to goals bigger than themselves is one of the key principles that staff of the Libby Unit share,” DNRC Northwest Land Office Manager Greg Poncin said. “We are very proud of the work they are accomplishing, but also in the initiative and innovation they illustrate by building programs, proactively seeking out funding, and hiring skilled people to carry out this work that is new and sometimes not well defined. They are leading the way and are collectively adding incredible value in this corner of Montana.”

To recognize DNRC’s Libby Unit for its work to strategically coordinate, plan, and implement these and other forest management programs, Gov. Gianforte presented the team with his Outstanding Service Award. The governor’s Outstanding Service Award recognizes state employees who go above and beyond in their line of work while serving Montanans.

DNRC Libby Unit

Gov. Gianforte presents DNRC’s Libby Unit with an Outstanding Service Award