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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 05/31/13


DILLON (May 28, 2013) – The Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office seeks public comments regarding several Special Recreation Permits (SRPs).  Public feedback would be most helpful if received by June 17.

The SRP requests are from several different applicants and are for two competitive events on BLM-managed lands near Ennis, RV camping on BLM-managed lands along Ruby Reservoir, overnight dispersed float camping by a fishing outfitter on the Upper Madison River, and one from an SRP permit holder requesting to have fishing trips in the Bear Trap Canyon unit of Lee Metcalf Wilderness in addition to an existing permit for whitewater operations. A brief summary of each action is below.

The competitive events application was submitted by the Madison County Economic Development Council for the Madison Duathlon and Triathlon—both of which were also permitted and held in 2012.

The Duathlon is a bike/run event scheduled for July 7.  The event would start in Ennis, go through Axolotl Lake Road and take Butcher Gulch into Virginia City. The route consists of 15 miles of bicycling and seven miles of running. The transition point (from bicycling to running) is near Twin Lakes on BLM-managed lands.

The Triathlon is planned for Aug. 11 and includes swimming, bicycling and running.  It begins with a 1,000-yard swim in Ennis Lake at Kobayashi Beach.  From there, the participants get on bikes and ride to Highway 287 in McAllister then continue to Harrison, where they will dismount and run to Pony. The biking and running occur on public roads. The only BLM land associated with the Triathlon is Kobayashi Beach.

An Organized Group (Wandering Individual Network) has requested a permit for RV camping on BLM-managed lands at Ruby Reservoir. The group, consisting of 25-30 self-contained RVs that require no amenities, plans a stay from Aug. 28through Sept. 3, including Labor Day Weekend.  The participants would like to kayak and fish on the reservoir during their stay.

A commercial fishing outfitter (Montana Angler Fly Fishing, Inc.) has submitted a request to do overnight float trips on BLM-managed lands throughout the Upper Madison River, in association with his fishing trips. He would use fire pans and would pack out all human waste and trash. This activity has been permitted for other fishing outfitters in the past. The applicant wants to be able to string multiple days into one trip and to camp on dispersed BLM-managed lands each night as the trips move downstream. Campsites would not be reserved, but BLM officials note there is currently not very much float camping on this stretch of river. For information on which locations are being considered, please contact the BLM’s Chris McGrath at (406) 682-4082. If approved, the permit would initially be for one year and could be reissued as a multiple-year permit after the first year.

An existing permit holder (Montana Whitewater) has requested to make changes to his operating plan to include some fishing use in addition to the whitewater experience that he currently offers in the Bear Trap Canyon of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The permittee has not been permitted to do fishing trips in this stretch of the river, but historically this permit has been allowed to offer occasional fishing trips.  If allowed, the permittee may be limited to a set number of fishing launches each year—for example, five or 10 launches per year.

To comment on any or all of these SRPs, please email, or mail comments to BLM-Ennis, P.O. Box 765, Ennis, MT 59729.  For more information please call Chris McGrath at (406) 682-4082 or the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000 or email

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal 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 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 Office   1005 Selway Drive      Dillon, MT 59725  

Last updated: 07-22-2013