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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Central Montana District
 
Release Date: 03/21/14
Contacts: Contact: Jonathan Moor, (406) 538-1943    

Flooding Affects BLM Facilities Along Upper Missouri River


 

Bureau of Land Management recreation areas and boat launches along the Upper Missouri River have been affected by recent flooding and ice flows which began the week of March 9-15, 2014, causing some closures and expected delayed openings.

The following is the status of the locations:

  • Fort Benton Boat Launch (maintained by the City of Fort Benton) is currently open. There has been no damage. The dock has not been placed in the water for the season yet. The dock will be placed when conditions stabilize.
  • Wood Bottom Recreation Area in Loma, MT, is closed until further notice due to ice impacting the boat launch.
  • At Coal Banks Landing Recreation Area in Virgelle, MT, (12 mi. southwest of Big Sandy) the campground is open, however the boat launch is closed until further notice due to ice impacting boat launch.
  • Judith Landing Recreation Area by the P/N Bridge – (44 miles southeast of Big Sandy) the campground is closed until May 15. The boat launch closed until ice impacting the launch is cleared.
  • The James Kipp Recreation Area (where US Highway 191 crosses the Missouri River on the Fred Robinson Bridge, approximately 20 miles north of Bohemian Corner in north central Montana) campground and boat launch are closed until further notice. The boat launch is covered by a 15-foot swath of ice with blocks as big as four feet. The high-water mark for this flood event exceeded the 2011 flood by one foot. The boat launch is expected to open by May 1.

With significant snow accumulation yet to melt in the Upper Missouri River Drainage Basin more flooding may occur this spring creating potential hazards. Anyone planning activities on or near the Upper Missouri River should get all available information prior to departure.

The point of contact for more information about these locations is Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Manager Mark Schaefer at the BLM Fort Benton River Management Station (406) 622-4000 or (406) 622-4015.

Current flow information can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey website at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/current?type=flow

"We understand everyone is eager to enjoy spring time recreation on their public lands, but until this flooding event subsides and we can inventory road and facility damage, we encourage everyone to be extremely cautious when traveling across or recreating on public lands," stated Stan Benes, the BLM’s Central Montana District Manager.

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument covers about 375,000 acres of BLM-administered public land in central Montana. The 149-mile Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River flows through the Monument.

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument Office is located at 920 NE Main St., Lewistown, MT 59457. For more information, call (406) 538-1950.

Visitors can also experience the cultural and natural history of the monument at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center in Fort Benton, Montana.

The Center interprets the grandeur and wonder of Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River and the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. The Interpretive Center keeps alive stories of woodhawkers, riverboat captains, bullwhackers, paddlefish, sturgeon, and bighorn sheep.  

Hands-on exhibits, special educational programs and riverside walking trail, tell about the area’s cultural and natural history.

For more information, contact Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center, 701 7th St., P.O. Box 1389, Fort Benton, MT 59442, (406) 622-4000 or toll free (877) 256-3252. 

Photos By: Mark Schaefer

(PHOTO 1) The James Kipp Recreation Area boat launch is covered by a 15-foot swath of ice with blocks as big as four feet. The boat launch is expected to open by May 1.

(PHOTO 2) A block of ice rests on a picnic table at the James Kipp Recreation Area March 19, 2014. Bureau of Land Management recreation areas and boat launches along the Upper Missouri River have been affected by recent flooding and ice flows which began the week of March 9-15, 2014, causing some closures and expected delayed openings.

 

(PHOTO 3) The vault toilets at the Bureau of Land Management James Kipp Recreation Area along the Upper Missouri River have been affected by recent flooding and ice flows which began the week of March 9-15, 2014, causing some closures and expected delayed openings.

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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Central Montana District   920 N.E. Main Street      Lewistown, MT 59457  

Last updated: 03-21-2014