By Sigrid Olson

Potomac Tree Embellishes Helena


December 21, 2017

Governor's Office

This Douglas fir from the Ashby Creek area near Potomac sits decorated and lit in the Governor's Reception Room at the Capital in Helena.

HELENA - A live Christmas tree from Potomac made its way to Helena and adorns Governor Steve Bullock's reception room.

After deciding to use a live tree this year, the capital reached out to the Montana Logging Association (MLA). "Then the MLA reached out to me," said Potomac forester Zack Bashoor of Bashoor Land Management.

The search was on. "It took days of walking around all of our (MLA) properties across the state to find the 'perfect' tree that needed to come out," said Bashoor. 

Bashoor was working on a thinning job in the Ashby Creek area when he found the ideal tree.

"I was honored to be asked to do it [find the tree]," Bashoor said.

The MLA sent a representative to haul the tree to the Capital by personal truck and trailer. The sections of the 75-foot tree that were not sent to the Capital were cut into merchantable logs and sent to the Pyramid Lumber Mill in Seeley Lake. The rest was trimmed to size for the Governor's Reception Room which is located in the east wing of the second floor of the capital.

The fir was part of a forest health improvement/restoration project according to Bashoor. "The tree was coming down anyway to meet a pine preferenced prescription assigned to our forest health improvement/restoration project," he said.

The tree is decorated with LED lights, garlands and balls. Standard precautions against fire includes using the LED lights which do not get hot and by keeping the tree well hydrated.

There were only minimal transportation costs involving the tree. "It was all out of good will for the capital," Bashoor said.

"We appreciate the generosity of the MLA in providing a tree for us," said Division Administrator of General Services with the Department of Administration Steve Baiamonte at the Capital.

Zack Bashoor

This Douglas fir tree came from the Ashby creek area of Potomac. It adorns the Governor's Reception Room at the Capital in Helena.


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