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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Butte Field Office
 
Release Date: 06/06/14
Contacts: David Abrams , 406-533-7617  

Butte BLM seeks public comment on Iron Mask Environmental Assessment


BUTTE (June 6, 2014) – An assessment of resource conditions on public lands within the Iron Mask Planning Area is available for public review at the Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office and online at the office’s website.

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 for 45 days, beginning on June 6 and ending on July 22. The EA is available on the BFO webpage at http://blm.gov/cyld.

In addition to the 45-day comment period the BLM will host an open house to discuss the Iron Mask Planning Area EA and to answer questions about the proposed projects in the planning area. The open house is scheduled for June 25 from 5-7 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service, Townsend Ranger District Office, 415 S. Front St. in Townsend.

“More than 5,500 acres in the Iron Mask Planning Area were acquired by the BLM in 2007 to protect important resources values, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance public recreation,” said Butte Field Manager Scott Haight.  “We are especially interested in hearing from our partners and the public if they feel the management actions proposed in the EA will meet those objectives. We’ll then take those comments into consideration as we complete the EA and issue a subsequent Decision Record.”

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: 06-05-2014