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Butte Field Office
Release Date: 04/15/10
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM, PPL Montana, Landowners To Celebrate Hauser Lake Land Exchange

An innovative land use transaction, which provides more public recreation opportunities at Hauser Lake, has been completed by PPL Montana, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and a private landowner.

Representatives from all three parties will meet at Hauser Lake on April 23 to celebrate the land exchange. The event, which is open to the public, begins at 1:30 p.m. at the BLM’s White Sandy Recreation Site, about 15 miles northeast of Helena. It can be reached by taking Lincoln Road exit off of I-15; travel east on Lincoln Road to Causeway; turn left onto Hauser Dam Road and follow it for three miles to the entrance to White Sandy Recreation Site.

The land transaction, known as the Causeway Land Exchange, protects the investments made by PPL Montana and the BLM at the White Sandy Recreation Site on the shores of Hauser Lake, protects the views enjoyed by Hauser Lake visitors and provides more opportunities for the public to enjoy the lake.

“This land dedication is a great example of what can happen when people work together to reach an agreement that benefits the public and protects and expands the outdoor recreational resources of our state,” said David Hoffman, director of external affairs for PPL Montana.

“We thank Dave and Shelli Hoerning and the staff of the Bureau of Land Management for their cooperative spirit and concern for the protection of our state’s natural resources,” Hoffman said.

The BLM, PPL Montana and the Hoernings, who live in Helena, began talking in 2002 about a property exchange that would allow the Hoernings to build a home in an area where subdivisions and residential development already exist, while at the same time conserving and freeing up land for public use. Ultimately, an exchange agreement was reached which consolidated five noncontiguous, intermingled parcels into a 681-acre block of public land, creating more than two-and-a-half miles of continuous lakeshore for public use.

“The win-win expression is often over-used these days, but it really applies here,” said Rick Hotaling, district manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Montana District. “The Hoernings now have a parcel of land that they can use, and the Bureau and PPL Montana can continue working together to provide public recreational opportunities here at Hauser Lake.”

PPL Montana contributed $1.4 million to acquire, design and develop the White Sandy Recreation Site at Hauser Dam. The company also has contributed $400,000 to expand the dam’s causeway and reconstruct the access site. In addition to its initial contributions, PPL Montana continues to provide $50,000 a year for the operation and maintenance of recreational sites at Hauser Dam.

Hauser Lake and nearby Lake Helena are popular sites for recreational activities such as fishing and hiking. Numerous campgrounds dot the river above and below the dam. PPL Montana’s Holter Dam, located 29 miles downstream, offers additional recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information on the land exchange or the celebration event, call David Hoffman, Director of External Affairs for PPL at (406) 422-1091.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Butte Field Office   106 N. Parkmont      Butte, MT 59702   

Last updated: 06-28-2012