Education and Program Manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dillon Tabish told KGVO on Friday that all Stimson Lumber Company lands will be closed to public use starting next week due to extreme drought conditions and high fire danger.

“Up here in northwest Montana, we've got lots of large corporate timberland owners who are very generous with allowing public access and recreation on their lands, which is great,” said Tabish. “It opens up hundreds of thousands of acres up here in northwest Montana for public access and recreation and we're very appreciative of that. Right now the wildfire danger is extreme, and it's so dry and the conditions are so ripe for trouble that one of those large landowners Stimson Lumber Company has decided to close its land here in northwest Montana to public access and recreation.”

Tabish said the closures will go into effect on Monday.

“Effective August 2nd, all of Stimson's lands in northwest Montana will be closed to public access and recreation,” he said. Here at Fish, Wildlife and Parks we support them and we're just helping get the word out to make sure that folks know that those lands are off limits right now due to fire danger.”

Tabish said that all visitors to public and private forest lands must be very careful with fire.

“Pretty much across the state but especially in western Montana, Stage Two fire restrictions are in effect everywhere, which means no campfires,” he said. “So if you're going to be out camping, unfortunately you can't have a campfire, but you can still use any stoves that are liquid petroleum or gas stoves that have an on-off switch, so you're still able to get your camp stove out to cook dinner, but no campfires are allowed.”

Tabish also sent out this notice on Friday afternoon.

Due to extreme fire danger, private timberlands across northwest Montana are closing to public access and recreation, effective August 2, 2021.

Green Diamond Resource Company, SPP Montana, Flathead Ridge Ranch, MKH Montana, and F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber announced July 30 they are closing all of their lands to all public access to reduce the risk of wildland fire. These restrictions include firewood cutting, nonmotorized use and walk-in use. Stimson Lumber Company announced the closure of its lands on July 29.

These closures will remain in effect until further notice when conditions improve.

The lands owned by Green Diamond Resource Company, SPP Montana, Flathead Ridge Ranch, and MKH Montana are former Weyerhaeuser lands and encompass approximately 600,000 acres across northwest Montana.

These private landowners appreciate the public’s cooperation in respecting these closures in an effort to help protect these forestlands from the risk of wildfire.’

 

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