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Eco-Extremists Shut Down Logging For 25 Years

The legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, will eliminate timber conservation licenses for Montana State lands.

Eco-Extremists Shut Down Logging For 25 Years

Eco-Extremists Shut Down Logging For 25 Years

By Tim Ravndal

Here in Montana the Timber Industry has been fighting for timber resources for many years.  In 1999 the Montana Legislature passed a law that provided conservation lease opportunities to environmental organizations.

HB441 will repeal the existing 1999 law 77-5-208 MCA~ “Timber conservation license in lieu of sale”

Environmental groups used this law just a couple weeks ago locking up a 450 acre timber sale near Bozeman Montana.  The sale was bid on by Ry Timber and would provide timber resources, logging and management infrastructure in the area.

The environmental groups raised over $400,000.00 to purchase the conservation easement that will prohibit any timber harvest on the Montana State Land for 25 years.

If HB441 is passed, the recent action by environmental groups will stand under Section 2 of the new law:  “The new law does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun for the offering and providing of a timber conservation license before the effective date of this new law.”  The new law will prevent all future resource management projects on State land from being locked up through conservation lease purchasing.

Representative Kerry White (R)

HB441 was introduced in the House by Representative Kerry White, from Bozeman, where it was passed with a 70 to 29 vote along party lines.

The legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, will eliminate timber conservation licenses for Montana State lands.

Senator Brian Hovan carried the bill to the Montana Senate after passing the Senate Natural Resource Committee with a vote of 7 to 5 along party lines.

Ry Timber has two logging sawmills in Montana that depend on the timber resources on State, Federal and Private Land.  The loss of timber production from federally managed lands has caused economic strife in the timber industry across the West.

The legislation today passed 2nd Reading and will go for 3rd reading before the full Senate on the 78th Legislative Day  tomorrow.  Those in the Natural Resource industry are hoping the Republican controlled Senate will send the bill to Governor Bullock for his signature.

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The Senate has put the bill on the agenda for 3rd reading and the people can weigh in by sending a message to all the members of the MONTANA SENATE:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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