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Billings Field Office
Release Date: 01/16/13
Contacts: Brad Purdy    
  Melodie Lloyd    

BLM Billings Seeks Comments on Forest Health Project

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office has identified the need to improve forest health on public lands in the Boulder Watershed, located about 25 miles southwest of Big Timber, Mont., in the Absaroka-Beartooth mountain range.  As a result, the BLM intends to complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the 960-acre planning area and needs the public’s input.  January 16 marks the opening of a public scoping period for the Green Mountain Forest Health Project.  The BLM will consider these comments when developing the EA.

“The BLM wants to enhance forest health on public lands for a number of reasons, and we’d like to hear from the public on what suggestions or comments they might have on the project,” said Jim Sparks, field manager of the Billings Field Office.  “Ultimately, the actions taken would invigorate aspen stands, improve wildlife habitat, help regenerate woody plants and tree seedlings, and potentially protect human health and safety through the reduced risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

Prescribed fire, salvaging insect- and disease-damaged timber before it loses marketable value, and reducing the current conifer encroachment are some of the proposed tools to be used that would change the vegetative composition and existing structures in the proposed management area.  Private lands and local economies in the surrounding area would likely benefit as well.

A presentation by BLM specialists about the forest health project will be provided at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at the Boulder River Watershed Association quarterly meeting held at the school in McLeod, Mont.

Those who would like to provide scoping comments should be as specific as possible with suggestions regarding resource issues, data sources, or alternatives to be considered in the EA.  Send comments to Craig Drake, BLM Billings Field Office, at 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101 or e-mail

To be considered, all comments must contain the name and address of the submitter.  Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personally identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The scoping comment period ends on February 1, 2013.  For more information and full details on the Green Mountain project, contact Assistant Field Manager Craig Drake at (406) 896-5349.  For the latest BLM news and updates visit us on the web at:  and on Facebook at:

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.

Billings Field Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, Montana 59101  

Last updated: 01-16-2013