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Lewistown Field Office
Release Date: 05/24/11
Contacts: Craig Flentie (406) 538-1903    

Flooding Closes BLM Facilities in Central Montana

The Bureau of Land Management’s James Kipp Recreation Area (where US Highway 191 crosses the Missouri River, approximately 20 miles north of Bohemian Corner in north central Montana) has been closed due to extremely high water flows in the Missouri River.

The BLM received word from the Fergus County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, May 21, that the Missouri River near Kipp was rising quickly with the potential to surprise and endanger anyone camping or recreating there. In the interest of public safety, the BLM with assistance from the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge evacuated the recreation area later on May 21. 

While water flows fluctuate daily, the water flow in the Missouri River near the Kipp Recreation Area on Monday, May 23, was at 87,500 cubic feet per second (CFS). The mean water flow this time of year on this portion of the river is just over 15,000 CFS.

The Kipp Recreation Area will be closed through the Memorial Day week end and will remain closed indefinitely until water levels and the associated danger (extremely fast flowing water, excessive debris floating in the water and road washouts that are currently underwater) subside. 

Also on Saturday, May 21, the BLM closed a portion of the Maiden Road in the Judith Mountains north east of Lewistown. The closure is necessary due to numerous washouts along that portion of the road crossing BLM-managed public land two miles north of the Giltedge town site.

“We understand everyone is eager to enjoy spring time recreation on their public lands, but until this flooding event subsides and we can inventory road and facility damage, we encourage everyone to be extremely cautious when traveling across or recreating on public lands,” offered Stan Benes, the BLM’s Central Montana District Manager.

Photo:  The concrete tables at the Kipp Recreation Area have not washed away, but they are nearly under water.

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 Street      Lewistown, MT 59457  

Last updated: 06-28-2012