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Date:  April 15, 2009
David Abrams (406) 533-7617

BLM Invites Comments On Marcum Mountain Planning Effort 

The Missoula Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management will hold an open house to discuss an ecological assessment of resource conditions it is conducting on approximately 13,000 acres of public land  near Marcum Mountain, within Powell and Lewis and Clark counties, between the towns of Ovando and Lincoln.

The area includes portions of Arrastra Creek and the upper Blackfoot River.  Results from the watershed assessment will be used to develop potential future resource management actions and alternatives, which would be carried forward for further analysis in a formal Environmental Assessment as part of the National Environmental Policy Act  planning process.

At this stage of resource condition assessment, no management actions have been proposed for the Marcum Mountain area. In keeping with BLM’s multiple-use resource management directive, potential projects could involve wildlife habitat improvements, stream restoration, vegetation treatments, and enhancement of recreational opportunities.

BLM representatives will be on hand at the upcoming open house to answer questions about future management opportunities for the Marcum Mountain area and to discuss any concerns about resource conditions within the planning unit.

The open house will be held April 29 from 4-8 p.m. in the Ovando Elementary School Gymnasium, 108 Birch Street in Ovando.

The public will have another chance for comment when BLM holds a scoping meeting in the fall prior to the start of the Environmental Assessment.

The BLM manages more land – 256 million acres – than any other federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 western states, including Alaska. The bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estates throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.