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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Butte Field Office
 
Release Date: 07/23/14
Contacts: David Abrams , 406-533-7617 , dabrams@blm.gov

Butte BLM extends public comment period on Iron Mask environmental assessment


BUTTE (July 23, 2014) – The Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office has extended a comment period for an additional 15 days to allow the public to weigh in on an assessment of resource conditions within the Iron Mask Planning Area.

The extension is due to a recently-discovered discrepancy between a letter to the public which said the comment period would be 45 days and the Environmental Assessment which established a 60-day comment period.

“As soon as we noticed this clerical error, we decided to extend the comment period by another 15 days in order to allow the public every opportunity to examine the Environmental Assessment,” said Assistant Field Manager Corey Meier of the Butte Field Office.

The Iron Mask Planning Area is located near Townsend and includes approximately 26,397 acres of land. In the EA, the BLM is studying such issues as travel management, grazing authorizations, and vegetation treatments. Public comments will be taken until Aug. 6. The EA is available on the BFO webpage at http://blm.gov/cyld.

Potential decisions to be made in the Iron Mask Planning Area include:
  • Which travel routes within the Iron Mask acquisition area would be managed as open to the public for motorized use, or limited to authorized/administrative uses, and what restrictions would be required, if any; including the location of parking areas and trailheads.
  • What, if any, types of structural range improvements and grazing systems would be established for the Indian Creek Forage Reserve grazing allotment.
  • Whether or not to renew grazing authorizations on six allotments that will expire in coming years or are currently authorized under Appropriation Act provisions.
  • Whether to treat upland vegetation to restore vegetation communities toward a more historic condition with regard to vegetation/wildlife habitat types and wildland fuels conditions, and if so, how many acres would be treated with what types of treatments.
  • What actions, if any, would be taken to address soil erosion and water quality impacts in the project area which are occurring from historic mining, one large stream headcut, and locations on roads where water flow is disrupted.
  • Whether to reconstruct or make adjustments to existing fences that do not currently meet wildlife specifications.

When commenting, the BLM asks that comments be as specific as possible, including suggestions regarding resource issues, data sources, or alternatives to be considered in the final environmental analysis.

Comments may be mailed to the Butte Field Office at 106 N. Parkmont, Butte, MT 59701 or e-mailed to sfrankli@blm.gov

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

To get a copy of the Environmental Assessment, call the Butte Field Office at (406) 533-7600 or email MT_Butte_FO@blm.gov. The report is also available for review online at http://blm.gov/cyld

For the latest BLM news and updates visit us on the web at www.blm.gov/mt, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BLMMontana, or follow us on Twitter @BLM_MTDKs.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Butte Field Office   106 N. Parkmont      Butte, MT 59701  

Last updated: 07-23-2014