Saturday, April 10, 2021

Buentemeier retires after 25 years of service

| March 24, 2021 1:00 AM

Ronald Buentemeier recently retired from the Board of the Flathead Conservation District. He has been a supervisor, elected by the citizens of Flathead County for 25 years beginning in 1995 serving the majority of that time as chairman of the board.

Buentemeier graduated from Columbia Falls High School and the University of Montana. He spent almost the entirety of his career in forestry with F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company, retiring as vice president and general manager in 2007.

Flathead county has more than 600 perennial streams and rivers. The Flathead Conservation District works to protect streams and rivers, and the adjoining riparian areas. When a landowner wishes to do any work on or near a stream or river a free 310-permit must be obtained from the district. The district also supervises state grants, presents educational programs, awards grants to schools, provides college scholarships, and issues direct grants to landowners for non-stream conservation work. One of these educational programs, the Flathead Family Forestry Expo, is a success due to Buentemeier’s leadership and work.

During Buentemeier’s 25 years as supervisor, the district issued 2,062 permits, 37 emergency permits and investigated 239 complaints. In the last 25 years, the county has experienced accelerated growth. Our streams and rivers are constantly changing as is the ownership and uses of the lands bordering these streams and rivers.

Under Buentemeier’s leadership the conservation district received numerous grants for work on the Flathead, Whitefishand Stillwater rivers as well as Trumbull, Haskill, Cow, Ashle and Krause creeks. As a result of his forest concreation work in the Haskill and Trumbull areas, Stoltze dedicated a portion of the land as the Ronald H. Buentemeier Educational Tree Farm.

The board and staff of the Flathead Conservation district will miss Buentemeier, but will strive to continue with its mission which he had led for the past two-and-a-half decades. Flathead County has been fortunate for his leadership.

Members of the Flathead Conservation District