Plum Creek subdivisions could strain fire budget in NW Montana

Plum Creek timber is the largest private landholder in Montana, and now since timbering no longer pays as much as remote subdivisions do, they are planning, asking and building a lot of them. Many are located in expensive-to-service, forest fire prone country. Most county commissions seem to think that they have to let developers do as they please with their land, but who pays for all this?

As long as the US Forest Service keeps fighting fires with the primary goal of saving homes, even the most remote, never-should-have-been built homes, the sprawl will never end (except perhaps now by financial collapse of the mortgage market).

This article explores the problem and suggests the reorientation of thinking of county commissioners will be when they have to assess their constituents the true cost of fire fighting.

Plum Creek subdivisions could strain fire budget. By Michael Jamison, Missoulian.

One Response to “Plum Creek subdivisions could strain fire budget in NW Montana”

  1. Todd Says:

    Right now we are all paying because the FS is spending half its budget on protecting private property instead of being stewards of public property.

    I would not be surprised if sometime in the next decade the insurance companies pull-out and stop insuring homes in the wildland-urban fire interface — then all the Western states will be left to self-insure these homes just like Florida now does for its properties ….. then, to answer your question, we will all pay (again) for these people to live in these remote subdivisions through higher taxes.


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