Plum Creek hasn't changed

  Dear HCN,

I'd like to comment on the article about Habitat Conservation Plans, in which biologist Lorin Hicks says that his company, Plum Creek Timber, began changing its timber management philosophy in 1990 and is working to become environmentally responsible (HCN, 8/4/97). I'm a logger/conservationist who lives near Plum Creek's hometown, Columbia Falls, Mont., and I'm familiar with their history.

Evidently, Plum Creek believes that the size of their public relations budget reflects their dedication to becoming environmentally responsible. Although they have shifted from clear-cutting toward selective logging, under the green label of "Environmental Forestry," Plum Creek is still cutting the dominant, most valuable trees in the forest. That's why they're known in these parts as the company that "cuts the best and leaves the rest."

To Plum Creek, the well-being of the land has always been secondary to the quarterly profit report. Nothing has changed in this respect.

My friend Tom once told me that, "Logging for Plum Creek is like gut-shooting a buffalo to take the tongue."

Here in northwest Montana, the old herd bulls and lead cows are just about extinct. We will all be poorer for their passing.

Bob Love

Columbia Falls, Montana

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