Former Montana Gov. Marc F. Racicot will join Plum Creek Timber Co.'s board of directors effective March 1.
Racicot was president and chief executive officer of the American Insurance Association from 2005 through 2009. Prior to that, he was a partner in the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP. He served as governor of the state of Montana from 1993 to 2001.
"Marc's impressive background as an experienced statesman and leader, along with his deep roots in the state of Montana will be of great value to Plum Creek," said Rick Holley, president and chief executive officer. "We are very pleased that he has agreed to join our board."
Racicot serves on the boards of Allied Capital Corporation, The Avista Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Racicot earned a bachelor's degree in English from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and a law degree from the University of Montana. For many years, Racicot has been involved in numerous nonprofit enterprises including United Way, Jobs for America's Graduates and the board of visitors for the University of Montana School of Law.
Plum Creek, of course, is the largest private landowner in the country, and the largest in Montana, where it owns about 1 million acres. In recent years, as the demand for lumber has plummeted, Plum Creek has discovered some of its land in western Montana to be more valuable as real estate. The transition has challenged local government officials, especially in Missoula, who worry about the impact of forestland development on wildlife, firefighting and other public services like road maintenance. The issue came to a head in 2008 when it was revealed that the U.S. Forest Service and Plum Creek were negotiating amendments to decades-old road easements, an effort to ensure that Plum Creek could gain forest road access for any purpose, including real estate development. Plum Creek backed off early last year. Still, the company plans to develop some of its land in Missoula County, including around Placid Lake.