The Quarterly Steward

Winter 2007-2008

 Spokane Creek
Partners Praised at Iron Mask/McMaster Dedication 
by Marilyn Krause

A ceremony on September 28 in Townsend recognized the partners that brought more than 11,000 acres in the Chain of Lakes area between Helena and Townsend into public ownership. [Read full story]      


completed fish barrier

Fish Barrier Protects Native Trout
by Joseph Platz  

A recently completed fish barrier on Crooked Creek in the Pryor Mountains will benefit genetically pure populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YTC).  Crooked Creek begins in the Custer National Forest, flows through BLM and private lands, and then enters Bighorn Lake in Wyoming. The Crooked Creek barrier project protects and expands one of three genetically pure populations of YCT on BLM-administered lands and one of six pure YCT populations on lands administered by the Custer National Forest.  [Read full story]  

Beaverhead County commissioners
Dillon Field Office Tranfers Land to Beaverhead County
by Marilyn Krause  

Beaverhead County recently received nearly 170 acres of BLM land near Dillon under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. 

For more than 40 years, the Dillon Rifle and Pistol Club had a permit to use the area but didn’t qualify for grants because it didn’t own the land.  [Read full story

Jim Sparks
BLM Names New Manager for Billings Field Office
by Ann Boucher 

 A brief installation ceremony took place Nov. 20 at the Montana State Office naming Jim Sparks as the new manager for the Billings Field Office.  “Jim’s background and experience are a good fit for the Billings Field Office,” said State Director Gene Terland. “He’s familiar with this area and the issues facing public lands today. With his extensive background and strong leadership skills, Jim will be a great asset to Montana/Dakotas BLM.”  Sparks replaces Sandy Brooks, who took a different job at the BLM Montana State Office earlier this year.  [Read full story]  

Special K residents planting seeds
Montana Grown 
by Nora Taylor

A new partnership with the Special K Ranch will have an impact all across the West.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of acres of native vegetation in the western United States are lost to wildfire. Other activities such as mining and recreational activities also take their toll.  [Read full story]  

History Mystery kits 
History Mystery
by Greg Albright

History Mystery is an educational outreach tool that is the brain child of David K.Wade of BLM’s Billings Curation Center and Susan Austin, marketing and outreach director for the Western Heritage Center. It introduces junior high students to some of the basics of conducting research while weaving in local history and geography. It also helps instill an appreciation for preserving cultural resources.  [Read full story]  

volunteer planting tree 
National Public Lands Day 2007

The BLM Montana/Dakotas hosted several one-day volunteer projects again this year as part of National Public Lands Day. Started in 1994 with three agencies and 700 people, the annual event has grown to include nearly 100,000 volunteers at 1,100 locations managed by federal, state and local agencies nationwide.  This year some field offices coordinated two events at the same site, taking advantage of different times of the year to accomplish different goals.   [Read full story]  

bat gate over mine adit
Scratchgravel Hills Now Safer Due to Abandoned Mine Lands Efforts
by Marilyn Krause

The Scratchgravel Hills north of Helena are surrounded by subdivisions, which means a dramatic increase in all types of uses over the last 20 years. The hills were named because prospectors would literally “scratch gravel” looking for gold and other minerals.  As use increased, the BLM recognized that many of the former mine features are attractive nuisances to visitors in the area and are accidents waiting to happen.    [Read full story

cabin at Garnet

Sleep With the Ghosts at Garnet this Winter

by Marilyn Krause

If you’re looking for a little adventure this winter, try a night or two at Garnet. Two historic cabins in the ghost town are available for rent from December through April. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.  Located about 40 miles east of Missoula, Garnet is accessible in the winter only via snowmobile, skis, snowshoes or dog sled.  Cabins come furnished with beds, dishes, gas cook stoves, lanterns, and wood heat stoves.  The Dahl Cabin sleeps up to six for $40/night, and the McDonald Cabin sleeps four for $30/night.  [Read full story

Building Partnerships 

The BLM has placed a high priority on reducing the threat of fire in wildland-urban interface communities, and a critical link in that process is developing strong community partnerships.  Four Montana/Dakotas specialists have embraced that task, and for their outstanding efforts, received the BLM’s national Excellence in Ecosystem Management Award for Achievements in Community Protection and Assistance.  [Read full story]