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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. For their participation, volunteers received t-shirts, something to eat, a sense of accomplishment, and a one-time pass for free admission to fee sites managed by federal agencies.
It should be noted that although NPLD is one of our largest, most visible volunteer events, BLM volunteers make significant contributions throughout the year.
Following is a summary of NPLD accomplishments in the Montana/Dakotas BLM.
Oil Pump Reservoir--Miles City Field Office
Road improvements and an aerator windmill were on the task list for 33 volunteers at Oil Pump Reservoir 13 miles south of Glendive. The windmill will pump air into the water to prevent winter kill in the fish. Because the bubbling action could also create thin ice this winter, volunteers also put up a fence around the reservoir to keep animals off the ice. Photo by Mark Jacobsen
Schnell Recreation Area--North Dakota Field Office
Schnell Recreation Area 30 miles east of Dickinson has been the site for organized NPLD activities for nine straight years. This year 53 volunteers made short work of several small building, painting and maintenance projects as well as the construction of a concrete block pathway to a handicap-accessible ramp. Volunteers included students from Dickinson State University, Boy Scouts, Resource Advisory Council members, and BLM employees and their families. Photo by Angela Wetz
James Kipp Recreation Area--Lewistown Field Office
In June, 13 volunteers from the Montana Outdoor Science School cleaned up the 80-acre campground at James Kipp Recreation Area 60 miles northeast of Lewistown. Later this fall, 15 volunteers from the community spread gravel around picnic tables and an interpretive sign, cleaned up litter, and planted silver buffaloberry bushes along the hillside. Photo by Sandra Padilla
Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range--Billings Field Office
To deter off-road driving and travel on closed routes in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, a Montana Conservation Corps crew replaced “Road Closed” signs and installed barriers. They also built a large information kiosk at the entrance of the range to provide information about management policies for the Wilderness Study Area as well as the wild horses. Photo by Don Galvin
Fort Meade Recreation Area--South Dakota Field Office
In April, volunteers spruced up trails and picnic areas for the summer season, and in September, they removed deadfall along Bear Butte Creek and the Sturgis Bike Path, preparing the way for controlled burns. Photo by Brooke Tapp
Wood Bottom Recreation Area--Lewistown Field Office
Thirty-one volunteers from Malmstrom Air Force Base and five BLM employees dismantled about three miles of a barbed wire fence, then rolled up the old wire and stockpiled fence posts. This has been a yearly NPLD project since 2001 aimed at removing obstacles to wildlife at Wood Bottom, which is located about 54 miles north of Great Falls. Photo by Sandra Padilla
Chamberlain Creek Elk Study Fence Removal--Missoula Field Office
Twenty volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Blackfoot Challenge, The Nature Conservancy, and E-L Ranch removed about six miles of barbed wire fence from the Chamberlain Creek area east of Missoula. Installed in the 1970s as part of an elk study, the fence was no longer needed. More than 1,000 metal fence posts are being saved for reuse and 3,500 pounds of wire were sent to the metal recycling center. Photo by Jim Sparks