Montana is home to many forests and a lot wilderness areas. There are multiple "wilderness study" areas in Montana and we may some changes to three of them.

Read More: Are 3 Montana Wilderness Study Areas Read For Changes?

Along with the forests, comes trees and Montana has a lot of them. But we don't have as many as we used to that is especially true in one Montana county. According to LawnStarter, who used data from Global Forest Watch, Montana's Flathead County has lost more trees than most counties in the entire country. So much so, they land in the top 10 for tree loss coming in at number 7. Alaska had the top three counties with the most tree loss, the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area was ranked number one followed by Fairbanks North Star Borough and the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area.

Credit: LawnStarter
Credit: LawnStarter

They looked at data from a twenty year span from 2000 to 2020 in their ranking of tree loss. They looked at "net change in kilo hectares". A "hectare" is a measurement primarily related to land and is equal to a square with 100 meter sides, that is 10,000 square meters. One hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

Montana Has Multiple Reasons For Tree Loss

There are multiple reasons for the loss of trees. Wildfires are included in the loss of trees. We are very familiar with those here in Montana. They also took into account infestations, which we have seen from the mountain pine beetle in Montana.

Montana has other counties that made the top 50.

  • Lewis and Clark number 22,
  • Powder River County number 32
  • Powell County at 37
  • Sweet Grass at 40
  • Pondera County at 44
  • Garfield and Sanders County tied at 46
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With the Montana fire season on the horizon, and the lack of moisture we have had this winter, it remains to be seen how much more tree loss we will see this summer in Montana.

See If You Can Identify These Montana Lakes Using Google Earth Images

From above, Montana's lakes may be less recognizable than you might think. Test your knowledge--see if you recognize these Montana lakes from Google Earth images.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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