Spring 2008

fishermen on the Madison River

Madison River Management Challenge
by Susan James  

The Madison River in southwestern Montana flows from Quake Lake near West Yellowstone to its confluence with the Jefferson River 130 miles downstream. It is recognized as the most heavily fished body of water in the state. The river sees over 100,000 anglers and nearly 400,000 total users per year – people literally loving the river to death. [Read full story

trees destroyed by target shooting

Collaborative Effort Takes Time but Results are Worthwhile
by Marilyn Krause

The North Hills in the Helena Valley offer a convenient recreation area for Helena residents and nearby landowners. As with many other areas, however, conflicts and safety issues have arisen as development encroaches on previously open space. [Read full story


Cooperative Efforts Help Bighorns Thrive in North Dakota
by Tim Zachmeier 

 “Less is more” is a common phrase among bighorn sheep managers across the West.  Because bighorn sheep are less adept at dispersing to other suitable habitats than other ungulates such as elk and mule deer, they are prone to disease when populations grow too large.  [Read full story

Reservoir Renovation
by Mark E. Jacobsen

Miles City Field Office employee Lloyd Butcher began excavation work on Dean S. Reservoir located just east of Miles City in the Pine Hills area on Feb. 5.  The reservoir is undergoing renovation and expansion to mitigate sediment accumulation and to increase fish stock survivability, according to Joe Platz, fishery biologist.   [Read full story]  

a cup of weed-eating bugs

Weed Busters

by Craig Flentie 

Noxious weeds present a continuously robust problem for public land managers. Every year established weed patches try to expand and new patches seem to appear as quickly as bills in the mail.  Noxious weeds spread easily -- some by natural patterns such as wind and/or flowing water, and others after their seeds are transported by human, livestock and wildlife movement. Weed seeds can also hitch a ride on the wheels or undercarriage of a vehicle carelessly driven through a patch before falling off to start another infestation.  [Read full story]    

tractor mowing sagebrush

Alkali Creek Sagebrush Restoration   
by Jim Roscoe

What?! BLM is mowing sagebrush, even given all the concern about preserving this kind of habitat?  That’s right! It may be an unorthodox practice, but it may have been the only way to actually restore a healthy sagebrush community in some vital wildlife habitat.  [Read full story]  

Adam Carr Recognized as Exceptional Range Employee
Adam Carr
by Craig Flentie

Adam Carr, a rangeland management specialist with the Lewistown Field Office, was recently recognized for his exemplary work during the 61st Annual Meeting and Trade Show for the Society for Range Management (SRM).  The BLM can nominate one rangeland management specialist from each state for this prestigious recognition; Adam represented the Montana/Dakotas BLM.   [Read full story


Retiree Returns as Volunteer 
by Melissa Half and Ann Boucher

Whenever a retiree walks out the door, a library of knowledge walks out, too. Fortunately for the Billings Field Office, one retiree has come back as a volunteer, bringing with him the wealth of knowledge and experience that he gained during a long career with the BLM.  [Read full story]

axolotl salamanders

The Amazing World of Axolotl Salamanders
by Paul Hutchinson

On the north slope of Montana’s Gravelly Mountains, surrounded by sub alpine meadows and timbered slopes, are the scenic Axolotl Lakes. The unusual name comes from an unusual species that inhabits the area: the neotonic (meaning “retention of juvenile traits”) form of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), commonly called “axolotl.”  
[Read full story]  

Former Students STEP Up and Reach out to Others     
by Chris Tincher

Soft-spoken, yet radiating a quiet confidence, Melissa Half is on a mission. A natural resource specialist with the BLM-Billings Field Office, Melissa is reaching out to students and encouraging them to follow her lead.  “When I go to the colleges and talk about the opportunities available, I tell them [the students] we come from the same place,” says Melissa. “I want them to know they can succeed too.”  [Read full story]