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Lewistown Field Office
Release Date: 09/24/10
Contacts: Craig Flentie 406-538-1943    

BLM Temporarily Closes Salvage Logging Site in Limekiln Canyon

For public health and safety reasons, the BLM has temporarily closed about 660 acres of BLM public land in the Judith Mountains (associated with the Limekiln Ruby salvage logging project) to public recreation. 

The Judith Mountains are located north east of Lewistown, Montana. In 2008, an extreme wind event damaged hundreds of acres of timber and blocked about one-third of the popular Limekiln hiking trail with downed timber. Shortly after that storm, the BLM invited public comment about what course to pursue toward repairing the damage. The public strongly supports the BLM working toward salvage logging the downed timber and reopening the partially closed hiking trail.    

Accordingly, last January the BLM awarded a contract to build a logging road to the damaged timber and shortly after that, the contractor began work.   The BLM encouraged the public to use the two-thirds of the hiking trail that remained open, but to avoid the construction site (the 660 acre parcel).
That effort met with mixed results as some hikers persisted in hiking near and around the construction equipment. 
“Temporarily closing the construction/work site then became the best mechanism for BLM to better ensure public safety and to contribute toward efficient contract administration,” according to Will Frank, the BLM’s Lewistown Field Manager. 
The temporary closure began Tuesday, September 21 (when the notice was posted in the Federal Register) and will last two years. Hopefully the salvage logging and road rehabilitation work will be completed within that time frame. 
 In the mean time, the BLM is encouraging the public to continue to enjoying the BLM public lands in the area by using the open portion of the Limekiln hiking trail. Maps of the available hiking trail and the closed area are available at the Central Montana District Office and on site.

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 59457   

Last updated: 06-28-2012