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Study: New MT Jobs Seen Through the Trees

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April 17, 2008

Orvando, MT – Montana can set its sights on new jobs in the woods. A new analysis of the "Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project" shows it would create about 50 good-paying jobs, including putting some loggers back to work. The project would restore forest health by thinning fire-prone trees, repairing roads and cleaning up wildlife habitat. State of Montana Restoration Coordinator Monica Pokorny says the project is an example of a whole new "restoration" economy in the state, one that draws on a skill set standing by ready to get to work.

"The restoration work that needs to happen is going to initially take the skills of the scientists, and then utilize the skills of the loggers in order to accomplish it."

She says a biomass facility is included on the project list.

Gordy Sanders with Pyramid Mountain Lumber says he wants other forests and states to follow their lead because it brings predictable jobs and cash to rural areas that have seen ups and downs in the forest products industry.

"Hopefully, we create some kind of a model for how you could think outside the box, and actually get some things done on the ground and get out of this gridlock situation."

The project area is best known for being featured in the movie "A River Runs Through It."

The complete report can be found at www.blackfootclearwater.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MT