Is UM Discriminating Against Forestry Students?

by jhwygirl

Since seeing this article in the Missoulian I’ve been a little perplexed.

President Engstrom is threatening – quite clearly now – to put an end to some annual forester’s ball that’s been around since I-don’t-know-how-long because it (apparently) gets too rowdy.

Drunken students. The shock.

The thing is so rowdy that I’ve never even known when the darn thing’s been held – and apparently the annual soiree just occurred a few weeks ago.

But answer me this: The Griz games are one big drunken booze carnival before hand, only recently cut back to 5 hours of tailgating on campus property, right? I mean, we’re not talking clandestine alcoholic beverages sipped out of paper cups – we’re talking barrels of beer and all that you’d expect of Montana and football and a bunch of crazed Montana football fans from across the state.

But Engstrom’s got his britches in a skritches over a few dozens forestry students having an annual party to raise some money for scholarships?

When we’ve got university sanctioned public drinking on public property?

Football OK, forestry scholarship fundraising once a year, bad?

Yeah – UM has priorities.


  1. Mark Miwertz

    Forestry’s got no allies anymore. The mills are closed, the forests shuttered by lawsuits. Where are the forestry guys going to work? Nobody’s doing anything but watching the forests die, then burn, anyway. Not that many mills or lumber yards or Boise Cascades to support the ball in significant ways, either. It’s all a dying industry, and the party’s moved elsewhere. And Grizzly football keeps the mind off a town full of empty mills and aging underemployed loggers.

    I hear what you’re saying about the hypocrisy, no doubt it’s a shot straight to the heart of the matter, too.

    But I’ve always preferred the old, blue collar Missoula full of loggers, miners, mill workers, railroaders, smokejumpers, etc, to what the city’s become now.

    But those days have come and gone and maybe the wild and wooly campus version’s time has too.

    • lizard19

      I would be interested to hear more about what the city has become, in your opinion, Mark.

      • Mark Miwertz

        I doubt it.

        • Ryan Morton

          Health care providers and educators really have turned Missoula to pot. I mean, service industries are such crap when compared with extractive industries. At least you don’t have all the communists running around like the folks in Helena who run our government.

          Yeah, Missoula is pretty awesome and you’re missing all the good stuff if you truly believe it was a better place 30 or more years ago.

    • Steve W

      The forests are shuttered by lawsuits? Where do you get your information from Mark M? I think you are confusing forestry with rape and tax payer subsidies to wood products companies with free enterprise.

      Why is Plum Creek selling off all their forestry land in Montana? That’s private and not subject to law suits. So we know their forests are healthy and just ready to be cut and turned into millions of homes that people are waiting in line to buy. Right?

      You know, I preferred the old Montana, before the Republicans cut state education funding to the quick, back when everyone could afford to attend college if they wished to. I guess we all pine for ‘the olden days,’ in one way or another, Mark.

      Just think if you were educated on the economy or the environment. You would have a much better understanding of how and why things are and you yourself could be an ally of forestry. Instead of bemoaning the lack you could be filling the gap.

      As for the college administrator advocating temperance; If he would read what the researchers from Montana State and U of Colorado Denver discovered, he’d be a long way toward achieving his goal in a holistic and natural way, instead of attempting to impose an authoritarian solution.

      A 5% drop in beer sales should be embraced, one would think.

      Yet almost undoubtedly, the lesson will be lost and the quick obvious and painless solution will be ignored in favor of the less efficient more expensive and more intrusive means of achieving the goal.

      The U of M could pioneer uses and applications for hemp forests. Blue collar hempies could fill the streets of Missoula, and your glory days would live again, Mark. Textile factories, oriented hemp fiber board, biodiesel plant, hemp seed oil mill, glycerine refining and products. it’s all possible.

      Except better and cleaner and more sustainable this time.

      I’d like to point out that it isn’t the environmentalists standing in the way of this American dream, Mark. Nope. The fields are shuttered by ignorance.

  2. ladybug

    As always, timber-miners (miners in general) left nothing of any real value. Growth rates are not competetive. Rape and run, boom and bust, it’s over. Missoula, Belgrade, Kalispell, Whitefish (“Stumptown”) and others did not suffer when the mills shuttered. U of M has had a hard time transitioning from the industrial age, to the information age, digital age, and now mobile and cloud. This is a symptom of a blessing in disguise. Montana still has no medical school. No hotel and restaurant management school. Before the Baucus-era bust, reinvestment in something with a future might be prudent. Forget Tester, a beater of dead horses, who thinks there’s a future in dead and dying lodgepole at <$1 per cubic ton.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Had this vision of Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”.

      But instead of some east coast scene fast forward to 2012 where a wealthy Missoulian saunters up to a newly diplomiaed Forestry graduate and whispers, “Bio-Mass”.

      • petetalbot

        A minor aside, Ingy, but although Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) graduated from an East Coast school, the movie took place in Southern California.

  3. ladybug

    Fantastic! You’ve awaken in the 21st Century.
    Right now, “BioMass” is a train full of chips headed for China. That wealthy Missoulian might have been Warren Buffett counting the rail cars leaving the state loaded with heavily-subsidized coal, grain, and biomass on his gold-plated abacus. Your federal taxdollars at work.

  1. 1 Who Can Can Engstrom? « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Engstrom. I’m sure some are already thinking Wow, this asshole was just making demands that the Forrester’s ball change OR ELSE, and now it looks like he tipped off an alleged rapist so the kid could flee the […]

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