This is a collection of stand-alone interviews pulled together by Archives and Special Collections around the topics of logging, forestry, the timber products industry, land use, the environment, and conservation in Montana. These interviews were conducted from the 1970s up to 2010. The original interviews are held at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula, and are identified by the following oral history numbers: OH 077, OH 252, OH 268, OH 409, OH 425, and OH 431.
This collection includes 6 interviews.
Arnold Bolle talks about his career as a forestry researchers, and describes the beginning of the movement to legally designate wilderness areas. He explains how the Wilderness Act changed the way the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management [BLM], and U.S. National Park Service managed their lands, and elaborates on his various roles in the creation of public policy relating to forests. Bolle explains his philosophy on cultivating positive dialogue and relationships with private land owners and how to be a strong, democratic leader within an organization. He describes how the public played a pivotal role in the designation and protections of specific wilderness areas in Montana such as the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wildernesses and other locations around Lincoln and the Blackfoot River. Bolle explains how U.S. representatives from Montana such as Max Baucus, Lee Metcalf and Pat Williams and organizations such as The Wilderness Society promoted the establishment of wilderness areas in order to protect public lands from being decimated by clear cutting and road building. He also mentions problems with timber harvests (ASQ) and overall forest health are also mentioned.
Donald Skillicorn and Dennis Sain
Donald Skillicorn and Dennis Sain discuss their experiences logging in western Montana for the Anaconda Forest Products Company, the evolution of logging technology, and the logging areas around Montana. Skillicorn also describes his initial job with the Anaconda Company, serving in the army during World War Two, his family settlement near Seeley Lake, Montana, and the family sawmill and band.
Don McKenzie gives a speech about his work as a logger during the 1910s and 1920s in the Nine Mile area and on the Blackfoot River of Montana.
Joseph Aggie Mussulman
Joseph Mussulman discusses moving to Missoula, Montana from Ripon, Wisconsin in 1957 and working for the University of Montana, Missoula in the School of Music. He explains his interest in the Rattlesnake Wilderness, his involvement with the United States Forest Service and Montana Power Company, and the formation of the Friends of the Rattlesnake. Mussulman describes his experiences working as a backcountry guard for the Forest Service during his retirement, and gives a detailed account of particular places in the Rattlesnake wilderness, including Franklin Bridge, Stewart Peak, Grant Peak, East Fork, Gold Creek, and Sheep Mountain Trail. He also discusses his belief that there is a lack of bicycle etiquette among recreationists.
Stewart Brandborg discusses the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the grass roots activism that developed around the bill. He describes his interest in preservation, his appreciation for wild country, his relationship with Howard Zahniser, and how he became involved in environmental and wilderness activism. He talks about his father’s work as the supervisor of the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana. Brandborg recalls how he and his father used media to highlight environmental activism during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as his work with the Wilderness Society in Washington, D. C. He recounts his role in appointing Cecil Andrus as Secretary of the Interior under President Carter in 1977. Brandborg also describes his work with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Parks Service in Washington D. C. during Andrus’ tenure as Secretary. He describes his involvement in Friends of the Bitterroot (FOB), the growth of the organization, and what he believes to be the future non-profits.
Willard A. Hartley
Willard “Bill” Hartley describes the logging techniques, equipment and methods of the early 20th century in western Montana. He details how the loggers moved logs from the logging camps all the way down to the train and load them. Hartley recalls the specific kinds of equipment, including slide jammers and Shay engines, that were used in the logging process. He talks about the Anaconda Copper Mining Company’s logging division which operated in Nine Mile and Blackfoot, Montana. Hartley also describes growing up in Stark, Montana, attending school there, and later attending high school in Missoula, Montana.