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Lewistown Field Office
Release Date: 06/09/10
Contacts: Craig Flentie 406-538-1943    

BLM Reminds Boaters of Seasonal and Yearlong Motorized Watercraft Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management’s Lewistown Field Office (BLM) would like to remind recreationists that the seasonal motorized watercraft travel restrictions on the wild and scenic segments of the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River will begin on Tuesday, June 15 this year.

On the wild segment from Pilot Rock (river mile 52) to Deadman Rapids (river mile 84.5) motorized watercraft are allowed to travel downstream only at a no-wake speed. This restriction will begin on June 15 and will remain in place though Wednesday, September 15. Personal watercraft and floatplanes are not allowed on this segment of the river yearlong. 

On the wild and scenic river segments from Holmes Council Island (river mile 92.5) to the Fred Robinson Bridge (river mile 149) motorized watercraft can travel downstream at a no-wake speed on Thursdays through Saturdays. On Sundays through Wednesdays motorized watercraft travel is not allowed. These restrictions will begin on June 15 and remain in place through Wednesday, September 15. Personal watercraft and floatplanes are not allowed on this segment of the river yearlong.
The only exception to these seasonal restrictions may be occasional administrative, emergency or law enforcement needs. “Our administrative duties require that we occasionally use motorized watercraft to complete compliance checks, weed control efforts and recreation site maintenance. On occasion, emergency services (search and rescue and medical evacuations) and law enforcement needs also require that we use motorized watercraft. We appreciate the public’s understanding when these needs and duties interrupt an otherwise quiet river setting,” according to BLM’s Lewistown District Manager, Stan Benes.
The recreational segments of the Upper Missouri remain open to motorized watercraft use. These segments include the first 52 river miles from Fort Benton downstream to Pilot Rock and an eight-mile segment from Deadman’s Rapids (river mile 84.5) to Holmes Council Island (river mile 92.5). However, personal watercraft and floatplanes are allowed only on river miles 0 to 3 near Fort Benton. 
“Seasonal restrictions have been a part of managing and recreating on the Upper Missouri
since the first management plan was written for the Wild and Scenic Missouri (30 some years ago). These regulations balance the interests of motorized and non-motorized recreationists and are authorized under 43 CFR 8351.2-1; Special Rules,” offered Jon Edwards, a BLM law enforcement ranger stationed in Lewistown. 
“We would also like to remind overnight boaters/floaters they are required to have and use a portable toilet on their trip. We implemented this decision in 2004, based upon concern about human waste disposal along the Upper Missouri. Area landowners, boaters/floaters, county commissioners and the Central Montana Resource Advisory Council all supported implementing this requirement,” Edwards added.
Monument Manager Gary Slagel would also like to remind campers to drown their campfires completely out. “It’s surprising how often our river rangers find abandoned campsites with fires still burning. Regardless of where we’re camping, we all have to be extremely careful with campfires,” Slagel said.      
If you have questions about these restrictions or to report a violation, please contact BLM ranger Jon Edwards at (406) 538-1939.

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.

Lewistown Field Office   920 NE Main      Lewistown, MT 5959457   

Last updated: 06-28-2012