Plum Creek Timber Company announced that it reached an agreement to sell approximately 165,000 acres of Montana and Washington forestland to The Nature Conservancy for $134 million.
The sale is part of an effort to unite the checkerboard land ownership patterns of these lands. The agreement includes timberlands located at relatively high elevations with slower growing trees. While less productive for timber operations, these lands are desired for forest conservation, recreation, public access, and ecological protection. They are among the most ecologically diverse and intact biological systems remaining in the United States, including lands in the lower Blackfoot Valley near Missoula, Montana, located in the Crown of the Continent, and also lands on both sides of Interstate 90 between Snoqualmie Pass and Ellensburg in Kittitas County, Washington, located in the Heart of the Cascades.
“Plum Creek has a strong history of conservation and is pleased to partner in the sale of these lands to accommodate the public interest in securing permanent conservation that protects ecological and recreational values,” said Rick Holley, chief executive officer for Plum Creek. “This is an important conservation project that recognizes the highest benefit these lands offer — protecting ecological values and helping to maintain public access. We are pleased that we were able to work with TNC to conserve some of the nation’s most important forest areas,” said Holley.
Plum Creek is the largest private landowner in the nation with approximately 6.7 million acres of timberlands in forest ecosystems across the northern and southeastern U.S.
Posted by Jami Howell