Guess which land belongs to our “Good Corporate Neighbor”, Plum Creek Timber Company, (those bare, light colored hills used to look like the forest in the foreground),
and think of our hypocrisy when we teach our children about the evils of the de-forestation of the tropical rain forests. Then contemplate the things for which we traded those forested mountainsides; officers salaries and corporate profits, perhaps?
(Photographed from within the National Forest high on the west slope of Patrick’s Knob.)
Plum Creek Timber Company is the largest private landowner in the United States, owning 8 million acres nationwide. They are also the largest private landowner in Montana where they own 1.2 million acres. They have come under a lot of criticism lately when it came to light that for over a year and a half they had been engaged in secret ( and possibly illegal) talks with (Undersecretary of Agriculture) Mark Rey’s Forest Service about road easements through National Forest land for access needed for backcountry subdivision development. Now they have begun a major public relations effort to enhance their image. And you think the politicians know how to put spin on things!
In 1999 the company became a real estate development trust (REIT) and now pay no taxes on their land deals to the states in which they operate. There is one of their developments about 6 miles from where I live. They formed a subsidiary for their real estate development efforts and called it Township 110 Land Company. Forest real estate sales now account for 50 percent of their revenue.
The following copy is quoted from Township 110’s website. I italicized some phrases I thought should be emphasized. The photos were taken in April of this year on one of Plumb Creek’s properties that they recently logged and show their commitment to and stewardship of the land they own. It is perhaps ten miles from their new development here.
“Our name and history reflects our values… Township 110’s name embodies our efforts to bring to life people’s dreams for a better lifestyle —living in harmony with the land and their community. ”
“Our properties are planned for you to enjoy the great outdoors; they are in varied environments with easy access to nature’s beauty — such as mountains, woodlands, trails, water, and wildlife.”
“A natural feel with spacious timbered lots, balancing privacy and community, while embracing surroundings such as lakes, rivers or vistas.”
“Sensitivity and integration of the wildlife habitat and ecosystems, with recorded community covenants to protect these values.”
(On a side note, this kind of stewardship of Plum Creek land and their version of treating timber as a renewable resource also serves to put more pressure on our National Forests for timber production.)