BLM seeks public comment on proposed land acquisition in Blackfoot watershed

Western Montana DO
Media Contact
David Abrams

MISSOULA, Mont.— The Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office is completing the final phase of acquisitions for the Clearwater-Blackfoot Project with the Nature Conservancy.

The BLM plans to acquire approximately 17,000 acres in the Gold Creek and Twin Creek areas of the Blackfoot River Watershed about 20 miles east of Missoula. The public can access the area via Gold Creek Road and Twin Creek Road from Highway 200.

The public comment period for the environmental assessment evaluating the impacts of acquiring the parcels closes April 30. To view the environmental assessment and comment on the proposed acquisition, visit the ePlanning website at:

The proposed acquisition will depend on funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and would be accomplished in stages over the next few years, with the first purchase potentially as soon as this summer.

This proposed acquisition would secure access for the public and allow for opportunities to restore forest health and resiliency, manage for sustainable recreation, restore habitat for a multitude of terrestrial wildlife species, restore watershed function for important fisheries as well as for rural communities in the Blackfoot who depend on the water for their livelihood. By bringing these lands back into federal public ownership after more than a century of private ownership, this acquisition would also allow for greater opportunities for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to access and reconnect with their ancestral lands.

“The Missoula Field Office is grateful for the opportunity to steward these public lands in the Blackfoot River watershed,” said Erin Carey, Missoula Field Manager. “We’re excited to roll up our sleeves along with the public and our partners to restore this incredible landscape so it can once again be a well-functioning ecosystem capable of supporting abundant wildlife, cold clean water, resilient forests, and opportunities for people to enjoy their public lands.”

The Gold Creek and Twin Creek area is surrounded by large, protected landscapes in all directions: the Mission Mountains, South Fork Jocko Tribal Primitive Area, and Swan Range to the north; the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to the east and north, the Rattlesnake Wilderness to the west and north; the Garnet Range to the southeast; and the Sapphire Range to the south.