Montana Forests

Montana Forest Facts

There are literally hundreds of sources available that provide facts about the forests in Montana. The following informational items reflect the major topics about which Pyramid Mountain Lumber is often asked.

  • Montana is 146,000 square miles.
  • Elevations range from 1,800 feet to over 12,000 feet above sea level.
  • There are 9 major forest types.
  • There are 64 habitat types (plant communities).
  • Forest ownership distribution is divided between Industry-owned (1.5 million acres) and Family-owned (3.4 million acres).
  • Seven to nine million seedlings are planted each year.The average tree harvest is 12” to 13” DBH (diameter breast high).
  • The average tree harvest is 12” to 13” DBH (diameter breast high).
  • The average harvest per acre is 5.5 MBF or a little over a truckload.
  • The Montana National Forest Growth and Mortality rate is 1.4 billion board feet per year which is equal to 965 truckloads a day.
  • In comparison, small, independent mills use only 150 truckloads a day.
  • The following table summarizes the breakdown of the forested land base, what percentage is harvested, and by the type of ownership.

Montana Forests Pyramid Mountain Lumber
Forest Ownership Forested Land Base Percentage of Harvest
US Forest Service 60% 13%
Other Federal & Tribal 4% 3%
State of Montana 4% 6%
Private Lands 32% 78%

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