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Date:  December 30, 2008
Contact:  Craig Flentie (406) 538-1943 

Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) Available for the 
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
The Bureau of Land Management announces the availability of the Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) describing how the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument will be managed in the future. The document will be mailed to the public this week and can also be downloaded from BLM’s web site at: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/lewistown_field_office/um_rmp_process.html

To get a copy of the Record of Decision and Approved RMP contact the BLM Lewistown Field Office at 920 NE Main St, Lewistown, Mont. 59457, (406-538-1900).

Efforts to complete this planning document began in April 2002. The Approved RMP provides direction and guidance for about 375,000 acres of public land within the Monument, including 396,000 acres of federal minerals.

Declared a national monument by Presidential Proclamation in January 2001, this area offers scenic views of rugged landscapes alongside the 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River. 

“The monument offers many outstanding opportunities for dispersed recreation including floating the Missouri River, camping, hunting, or taking an upland vehicle tour on the Back Country Byway. Recreation, historic, and cultural resources are diverse and provide numerous opportunities for just about every type of interest,” said Gary Slagel, manager of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

The management plan was developed with assistance from local counties, the state, other federal agencies, tribal governments, and a variety of other interest groups, including the BLM’s Central Montana Resource Advisory Council.

“We thank all of the organizations and people who helped produce the approved plan,” said Stan Benes, BLM’s Lewistown Field Manager. “It’s been a collaborative process so far, and we hope that spirit will continue as we move toward implementing the plan.”

The environmental impact statement supporting the planning process included the necessary site-specific planning to move forward with five implementation decisions: road designations; backcountry airstrip designations; group size for boaters launching from Coal Banks or Judith Landing from June 15 to August 1; 2-night camping limit at Level 2 sites from June 15 to August 1; and motorized watercraft restrictions on the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River.  These specific decisions will be appealable for 30 days following publication of the Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision in the Federal Register. The BLM will provide notice to the public through a news release and on the web site when the Notice of Availability is published.

For more information, contact the BLM Lewistown Field Office at (406) 538-1900.

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