Contributors to this thread:
Weyerhaeuser land sale
Weyerhaeuser has announced that it will be selling all of it's land in Montana in the first half of next year. The new owners say that they have no plans to change public access to the land. However, I'm sure that they plan on selling off the land, and then what happens to public access? I'm actually not worried about access to the old Plumcreek/Weyerhaeuser land. I've always liked hunting on the Plumcreek land, but if a private party buys a chunk of land from the new owners, I can't really expect them to allow the public to hunt on it. What I am really worried about is what will happen to access to National Forest and State land. In the past, people like the Wilks brothers have bought up private land and denied access to huge chunks of public land as it's access required going through their land. How much of the public land in NW Montana could now be shut off from the public if the Plumcreek/Weyerhaeuser lands get sold off? It's time for a change in the laws concerning access to public land. All public land should have access for the public.
I read about that this morning. Hadn't heard about the Wilks brothers connection, thanks.
I don't see much good coming from this. I suspect a lot will be sold off and then access blocked. Ran into the same thing earlier this year, about 100 yards of FS logging road ran across some private that used to be owned by Plum Creek but they sold. That 100 yards of road is now blocked by very large orange painted boulders.
While I surely respect and enjoy private property rights, cutting off established access ticks me off.
I didn't say that there was a Wilks brothers connection. I just used them as an example of what has happened in the past when access to public land is blocked off by new private landowners. As far as the newspaper articles that say that the new owners of the Weyerhaeuser land will allow public access, I don't doubt that at all. The issue is what happens when they sell it off to other buyers.
here is an e mail I received today about the Weyerhaeuser land trade, its just something to keep in mind:
When writing about the Weyerhaeuser land deal, I grew concerned when I saw Southern Pine Plantations is the buyer, because they sold a shit-ton of Idaho land to the Wilks Brothers only three months after they bought it. Even if the Wilks Brothers don't get involved, the buyer is not a timber company that will continue to work the land. It's a real estate flipper and you can bet the resulting deals aren't going to benefit the public. This is a huge amount of land akin to the Plum Creek Lumber sell-off.. I am concerned for the people and wildlife of northwestern Montana.
Steve is 100% right.The Wilks boys are waist deep in this deal. They have a family member running Southern Pine, or sitting on the Board, and they have their fingerprints all over this deal. Similar thing occurred in S. Idaho. But then Plum Creek did the same thing here in Montana, N. Wisconsin, and New York when they held huge chunks of ground there. They formed a real estate wing and sold lake shore property, etc for huge gains. One prime local example here in the Flathead is the ground around Little Bitterroot Lake (which is actually a very big lake). It was once all Plum Creek land and completely open to access all around the lake. It was sold off and "developed". It is now surrounded with cabins and homes with just three access points, one state, one county, and one where the road right of way touches the lake with property held by the Eagles Club. I'm sure we will see at least a larger potion of the Weyerhaeuser land experience the same fate. Fortunately, the entire corridor of the Thompson River and Lakes were protected in perpetuity years ago for the public with a land trust agreement. Like Steve said, I fear what's coming, but currently there's nothing we can do about it.
MAGA= Make America Greedy Again. It is going to get worse folks. The North American Wildlife Conservation Model has changed and will continue to change rather rapidly.