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Dillon Field Offce
Release Date: 05/13/13
Contacts: Pat Fosse (406-683-8000)    
  David Abrams (406-533-7617)    

BLM Plans Watershed Assessments for Southwest Highlands and Middle Ruby this Summer

DILLON, MT – The BLM Dillon Field Office plans to study the existing resource conditions on BLM-administered public lands within the Southwest Highlands and Middle Ruby Watersheds this summer.  The Southwest Highlands Watershed includes 12 grazing allotments and 72,000 acres of BLM-administered public land.  The Middle Ruby Watershed includes 13 grazing allotments comprised of 42,866 acres of BLM-administered public land in addition to 7,819 un-allotted BLM acres within the Ruby Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA).

“The BLM looks forward to engaging the public on the Southwest Highlands and Middle Ruby Watershed Assessments,” said Field Manager Cornie Hudson.  “These are significant assessments, and it’s important to receive input from the public.”

The five standards for rangeland health will be reviewed on an allotment by allotment basis within the un-allotted areas of the Ruby Mountain WSA to determine whether or not the standards are being met.

Standards include:

  • Maintaining properly functioning upland and riparian areas, assuring that water quality and air quality meet State standards, and providing for biodiversity.
  • Forest health, fuels conditions and conifer encroachment issues are also included within the land health standards.
  • Where standards for land health are not met, contributing factors will be identified and recommendations for corrective action will be developed and presented by the interdisciplinary team.

National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) documents will be prepared next winter to analyze alternatives for revised management where resource concerns are found within these watersheds.  The assessments, determinations and any necessary NEPA documents will be completed by resource specialists from the Dillon Field Office in coordination with permittees/lessees, other agencies and the interested public.

If you would like to know more about this process or have information or data that may be helpful to the BLM, please call (406) 683-8000 or email  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.

Dillon Field Offce   1005 Selway Drive      Dillion, Montana 59725  

Last updated: 05-13-2013