About Us

The Bolle Center was established in 1994 at the School of Forestry of the University of Montana to honor the late Arnold Bolle, a former dean of the school and renowned forester and conservation leader. The center supports interdisciplinary education, participatory research, and community outreach to foster resilient and sustainable livelihoods, communities and forests in the U.S. intermountain west and internationally.

“On St. Valentine’s Day, 1994, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg donated a major gift to the University of Montana Foundation to enable the formation of the Bolle Center for People and Forests. The gift was a valentine to their beloved friend, Arnie Bolle, and is its own legacy to the University of Montana, and a challenge to the College of Forestry and Conservation to continue the Bolle legacy of excellence in conservation.”

This quote from a 1994 newspaper article highlights both the extraordinary gift that established the Bolle Center and the man for whom it is named. In 1970, Arnold Bolle, as Dean of the School of Forestry at the University of Montana, shifted the future course of national forest management. His investigation of the conflicts surrounding the managment of the Bitterroot National Forest produced a congressional publication known as the Bolle Report, which sparked a rewriting of national forest law.