HASKILL CREEK â€" Navigating his
pick-up truck along a narrow, two-track logging road on Haskill Basin
, Chuck Roady
passes through warrens of grand and alpine fir, spruce, larch and cedar, jabbing his
finger out the window at the healthiest stands.
doesnâ€™t hide his
took over as Stoltzeâ€™s general manager in 2008, when the collapsing housing market and plummeting lumber prices combined to shadow the industry in uncertainty.
has endured difficult times in the past, Roady
said, having lost three mills in the span of a decade, shuttering facilities in Dillon, Darby and, most recently, its aspen mill in Sigurd, Utah, which it did only after losing access to federal and private harvest lands.
Multiple generations have supported Stoltzeâ€™s legacy of innovation, and while Roady sees no sign of that changing under the current guard, he noted that thereâ€™s always the chance.
â€œThe family has long revered themselves as responsible stewards of the land and has put its money back into the timberlands rather than selling them off for development,â€ he
said. â€œBut say we lose a few board members and the tenor of its leadership changes.
The allure could be pretty big at some point if your great grandfather owns 40,000 acres in Whitefish, Montana and youâ€™ve got nothing in writing.â€
Chuck Roady, vice president and general manager of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company, stands on a bridge at one of the City of Whitefish's water intakes in Haskill Basin. - Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon