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Montana State Office
Release Date: 10/17/13
Contacts: Melodie Lloyd    

Most Activities on BLM-Montana/Dakotas Managed lands to be Suspended due to Federal Government Shutdown

As a result of the Federal government shutdown, essentially all services provided by the Bureau of Land Management will be suspended, with the exception of law enforcement and emergency response functions.  Approximately 4,000 recreation facilities, including visitor centers, facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation sites will be closed.  

With an estimated $4.8 billion in revenues in 2012, the BLM nationally returns more than four dollars for every budget dollar it receives.  The BLM manages 245 million acres – more than any of the nation’s major natural resource agencies, with the smallest budget, the fewest employees, and the lowest cost.

While the BLM will maintain the minimum staffing levels required to ensure continued safe management of the nation’s energy resources, issuing new oil and gas leases and permits will cease.  Limited work will continue to ensure safe operations of domestic energy supplies, including very limited inspection activities and emergency response for more than 5,730 oil and gas wells for federal and Indian Trust minerals in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Recreation activities on BLM-managed lands will be similarly impacted.  Public lands receive more than 57 million visitors every year, contributing more than $7 billion to local economies.  In FY2012, the Montana/Dakotas organization received more than 4.3 million visitors contributing more than $317.5 million total funds to local economies.

In the Montana/Dakotas, BLM closures include the Garnet Ghost Town visitors’ center, Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area, and the Chain-of-Lakes Complex.  All BLM facilities are either closed or will not be maintained for the duration of the shutdown.

The BLM-Montana/Dakotas will furlough 712 of its approximate 730 employees during the funding lapse.  After the initial shutdown procedures are completed, the BLM-Montana/Dakotas will maintain a total of 18 excepted employees with an additional 80 employees on call.

Suspended activities and services will include:

  • non-emergency Abandoned Mine Land and hazardous-materials mitigation
  • processing of oil and gas drilling permits
  • processing of lease sales, permits and other non-emergency authorizations of onshore oil and gas, coal and other minerals permits and approvals for renewable energy and other rights-of -way issuances
  • Endangered Species Act and cultural clearances
  • range management restoration
  • wild horse and burro adoptions
  • sand and gravel permits
  • timber sales
  • work on resource management plans, including those driven by court deadlines

Suspended activities will resume once Congress approves a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Because the BLM website will not be maintained for the duration of the shutdown, the BLM will be re-directing to Interior’s site, where additional information will be available at as well as 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.

Montana State Office   5001 Southgate Dr.      Billings, Montana 59101   

Last updated: 10-17-2013