Montana State University

MSU Extension Forestry

Timber Value Chain

- Landowners

Public and Private Forest Landowners

Montana is the nation's fourth largest state, occupying 93 million acres.  Of the total land area, about 25 percent or 23 million acres are forested. Four categories of landowners own the forested acres:

NIPF chart

Public ownership includes State owned lands, US Forest Service lands, Bureau of Land Management, and National Parks.

Tribal ownership includes the Flathead, Blackfeet, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Fort Belknap, and Fort Peck Indian reservations.

Industrial ownership includes lands owned by large timber companies, the largest of which is currently Plum Creek, which owns just over 1 million acres in Montana.

Private ownership includes many smaller parcels of land, but also a number of large ranches. About 40,000 private individuals own about 3.5 million acres of private forestland in Montana. Several organizations help Montana's private landowners sustainably manage their forests including:

Montana Forest Owners Association

Montana Tree Farm

Montana Natural Resources Conservation Service

Montana DNRC Forestry Assistance Bureau