BLM releases statement concerning the Lewistown Field Office

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Lewistown Field Office and portions of the Butte Field Office is now available. A Notice of Availability announcing its release was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2020.

The Proposed RMP blends elements from the alternatives analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS. In developing the Proposed RMP, the BLM made modifications based on public comments on the Draft RMP/EIS, input from cooperating agencies, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ongoing coordination with stakeholders, new information and best available science, the need for clarification, and internal BLM reviews.

The BLM received over 800 comment letter submissions on the Draft RMP/EIS. The BLM considered this input in formulating the Proposed RMP, which responds to local community needs and aligns with Administration priorities like public lands access, expanding recreational opportunities, energy development, economic growth, and improving big game habitat.

Notable decisions contained in the Proposed RMP include:

• Maintaining 636,600 acres as available to livestock grazing with an associated forage quantity of 126,042 Animal Unit Months.

• Maintaining 1,084,300 acres of the federal mineral estate as open to fluid mineral leasing, with applicable stipulations to manage other resource values.

• Allocating areas as open or closed to non-energy leasable minerals and mineral materials.

• Designation of Recreation Management Areas including two Backcountry Conservation Areas

• Retaining 635,500 acres as open to off-highway vehicles, limited to existing routes and trails.

• Allocating areas to guide placement and development of rights-of-ways.

• Designating Square Butte and Acid-Shale Pine Forest Areas of Critical Environmental Concern

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