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Eastern Montana/Dakotas District Office
Release Date: 01/31/11
Contacts: Mark Jacobsen 406-233-2831    

BLM Continues to Burn Slash Piles

Local residents of Sturgis might have noticed a few intermittent smoke clouds hovering over the Fort Meade Recreation Area last week as the BLM South Dakota Field Office burned slash piles left over from earlier fuels reduction projects.

Good snow cover and weather conditions –which ensure the piles don’t ignite other fuels and aid smoke dispersement– have cooperated to allow BLM firefighters to continue to ignite the heaps of slash.

The piles are a byproduct of fuels reduction projects intended to reduce the threat of wildfire spreading from BLM-administered lands onto adjacent private lands and to improve forest and range health, and wildlife habitat for a variety of local species, such as wild turkey.

This February, the National Wild Turkey Federation will accord special recognition to several staff members from the South Dakota Field Office at the federation’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn. highlighting the BLM’s work to improve wild turkey habitat at this popular local destination.

The NWTF has, and continues to partner with the BLM providing ideas and funding for this and other habitat projects in South Dakota. There has been approximately $465,000 expended on the mechanical thinning and biomass reduction for this area; a local contractor and a local mill processed the marketable timber.

The BLM will be burning remaining piles at the Fort Meade Recreation Area near Sturgis; by Englewood, Wilderness Estates and along the Jaybird Subdivision Yellow Creek road near Lead—when conditions permit.  Approximately 600 piles of slash will have been burned over a combined total of 475 acres of BLM-administered land once the work is completed.

For more information on the burning or to get advice about maintaining defensible space in wildland-urban areas, habitat projects on public lands or volunteer opportunities; call the BLM South Dakota Field Office at 605-892-7000.

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.

Eastern Montana/Dakotas District Office   111 Garryowen Road      Miles City, MT 59301  

Last updated: 06-28-2012