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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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DNRC hires local government forest advisor

MISSOULA, MT – County commissioners and other local government officials now have a new resource available to help them engage with national forest projects within their jurisdictions. House Bill 510, which was approved by 64th Montana Legislature, provided funding for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to hire a Local Government Forest Advisor to “provide assistance on projects on federal forested lands upon request of a local government.” Projects which reduce excessive wildfire fuels, protect watersheds or infrastructure, and enhance economic productivity are a few examples.

 The DNRC has hired Matt Arno as the Local Government Forest Advisor. Arno comes to the DNRC with experience as a forestry consultant and contractor, and he brings a wealth of collaboration experience with such entities at Blackfoot Challenge and the Montana Forest Restoration Committee.

 “Matt brings an amazing skill set to our organization,” said State Forester Bob Harrington. “His knowledge of natural resource management coupled with his skill at collaboration will be of great benefit to our local government partners as they engage in the dialogue of federal forest management.”

 Representative Alan Redfield (R) of Livingston, Montana, introduced HB 510 during the 2015 legislative session. Governor Bullock signed the measure into law last July.. In recruiting for the position, DNRC sought participation from the Montana Association of Counties and the Forest Service on the interview and selection committee.

 Arno made his official introduction during the Montana Association of Counties mid-winter meeting earlier this month in Great Falls.

 "I had discussions with numerous commissioners about how I can serve as a resource for them when working with the Forest Service on projects of mutual benefit. There is a lot of interest in increasing the pace and scale of fuels reduction treatments and other forest restoration projects at the local government level,” Arno said. “I am excited to see how I can help with the work and partnerships they are already engaged in and use the new tools we have to build on those current successes to get more good work done on the ground.”

 Matt Arno has an office at the Forestry Division in Missoula.