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Butte Field Office
Release Date: 08/31/10
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM, PPL Montana, Conservation Fund, Landowners Celebrate Conservation, Recreation Accomplishments

A ceremony on Sept. 3 will celebrate the recent acquisition of three parcels of land as additions to the Bureau of Land Management’s Chain of Lakes Special Recreation Management Area north of Helena.

The event, which is open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. at the BLM’s White Sandy Recreation Site public pavilion, 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 BLM and The Conservation Fund partnered with landowners to acquire two private parcels which were otherwise in-holdings amongst public land in the Brown’s Gulch/Ward Ranch area. These lands will be managed for public recreation, wildlife habitat and other uses similar to the surrounding public lands.

The acquisition of the parcels was accomplished using Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act funds.

In another transaction, the BLM and PPL Montana, LLC partnered with a willing landowner to acquire a 5.7-acre parcel adjacent to the Holter Lake Campground. A parking area will be constructed on the parcel to provide overflow parking for the heavily used Holter Lake Campground, significantly reducing traffic congestion and safety issues associated with people parking along Beartooth Road.

David Hoffman, director of External Affairs for PPL Montana, said the company values the cooperative spirit that led to the completion of this project and the benefits it will provide for public recreation at Holter Lake.

“This is a great example of what can happen when public agencies and private landowners work together to reach an agreement that benefits the public and expands the outdoor recreational resources of our state,” Hoffman said. “This project is one of 32 permanent recreation sites that PPL Montana has developed in partnership with agencies and the public along the Missouri-Madison river corridor, where the company operates eight hydroelectric projects.”

The BLM agreed that land acquisitions like these are beneficial to both the people and the land.

“These three acquisitions are important for a number of reasons,” said Rick Hotaling, District Manager for the BLM’s Western Montana District. “They help protect our open spaces and the viewshed from potential subdivision development on this stretch of Hauser Lake. They also maintain or improve vital wildlife habitat, enhance public recreation opportunities within the Missouri River corridor, and consolidate public lands by reducing private inholdings.”

“We are truly grateful for the efforts of everyone involved to help make these  transactions a reality,” Hotaling added.

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.

For more information on the land acquisition or the celebration event, call David Abrams, BLM Public Affairs Specialist at (406) 533-7617.

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 North Parkmont      Butte, MT 59701  

Last updated: 06-28-2012