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1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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DNRC awards conservation license in lieu of harvest for Limestone West timber sale


BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) today awarded a 25-year Conservation License to Save Our Gallatin Front (SOGF), in lieu of the department’s proposed Limestone West Timber Sale on 443 acres of state Trust Land southeast of Bozeman.

The Conservation License effectively suspends the proposed logging activity on the planned timber sale harvest units for the next 25 years, said Dan Rogers, chief of DNRC’s Forest Management Bureau.

“We congratulate Save Our Gallatin Front for their successful bid,” said Rogers. “While we prefer active forest management on Trust Lands, the law provides a process for obtaining a Conservation License in lieu of harvest and Save Our Gallatin Front successfully followed that process. Their high bid will produce good revenue for the trust beneficiaries. And the proposed harvest units will again be available for active management and trust income in 25 years.”      

SOGF yesterday submitted the high bid of $18.15 per ton on the timber project for a total payment of $400,026. RY Timber of Townsend, Mont., submitted a bid of $17.06 per ton -- the minimum bid allowed – for a total payment of $376,000.

DNRC today sent a letter to SOGF confirming its bid was accepted. The award letter also clarifies payment schedules, bonding and insurance requirements. Rogers said SOGF will now have 30 days to submit the first of three payments of $133,342.

Rogers thanked members of DNRC’s Project ID team for their “extraordinary efforts to develop a timber sale package that included a wholesale deferral Conservation License option.   

“This is the first wholesale deferral ever applied for within our timber sale program, which added another level of complexity,” Rogers said. “In 2006 the department approved the only other application for a Conservation License, which was a partial deferral for less than one acre.”

In the public involvement process for the project, DNRC issued three separate public scoping notices as the timber project was developed, providing 110 days for the community to comment on the plan, including two public meetings and a public hearing.

Since Fiscal Year 2014, timber sales and forest improvement fees on state Trust Lands in Montana have produced more than $53 million in revenue for public schools and other endowed institutions.

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