Date: December 12, 2007
Contact: Marilyn Krause (406) 533-7617
BLM Watershed Assessments Ready For Public Review
The Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office has completed its assessment of resource conditions on BLM-administered lands within the Beaverhead West Watershed, covering 51 grazing allotments and about 92,000 acres, and the Red Rock/Lima Watershed, including 24 grazing allotments and about 55,000 acres. Both watersheds are located primarily in Beaverhead County, Montana.
The five standards for rangeland health were evaluated on each of the 75 livestock grazing allotments to determine whether or not the standards were being met. Standards include: maintaining properly functioning upland and riparian areas, assuring that water quality and air quality meet State standards, and providing for biodiversity. Forest health, fuels conditions and conifer encroachment issues are included within the land health standards.
National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) documents will be prepared to analyze alternatives for revising management where resource concerns were found within these watersheds. The NEPA documents will be completed by resource specialists from the Dillon Field Office, in coordination with permittees/lessees, other agencies, and the interested public.
The Assessment Reports for both the Beaverhead West and the Red Rock/Lima Watersheds have been mailed to all individuals who expressed an interest in the project and asked to be on the mailing list. The BLM welcomes public comments to help formulate alternatives and define issues for the environmental assessments. To be most useful, public comments must be submitted by January 31, 2008. If you would like to receive a copy of the Beaverhead West and/or the Red Rock/Lima Watershed Assessment Report, please call the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000, or email MT_Dillon_FO@blm.gov. The Watershed Assessment Reports are also available online at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/dillon_field_office.html.