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Central Montana District
Release Date: 08/18/14
Contacts: Jonathan Moor    
  Brad Purdy    

BLM no longer considering land exchange to restore Bullwhacker access

(LEWISTOWN, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management announced today it is no longer considering a land exchange with Wilks Ranch Montana, Ltd. to restore motorized public access to the Bullwhacker area.  The Bureau’s preliminary assessment of a range of land exchange options found no viable option that would garner substantial public support or be in the best interest of the American people who have entrusted the BLM to manage their public lands for them.
A land exchange was being considered for restoring motorized public access to approximately 50,000 acres in the Bullwhacker area of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument within Blaine County.  Historic public access had been lost following a 2011 court decision declaring that portion of the Bullwhacker Road crossing private lands to be a private road. 
This does not mean the BLM is giving up on restoring motorized public access to thousands of backcountry acres in the Bullwhacker Coulee area that are cherished by Montanans for their hunting and recreational opportunities.
“Public access to public lands continues to be one of our State Director’s top priorities,” said Stan Benes, the BLM Central Montana District Manager.  “BLM staff are now looking at what other feasible options may be available to explore, and the public can expect to hear from us soon on that front.”
At that point, the BLM will initiate an open and transparent public process in which the public will have several opportunities to participate in a resolution long-sought after for restoring motorized public access to the Bullwhacker Coulee area.
For more information about access on BLM-managed lands, contact Realty Specialist Jim Ledger at (406) 329-3733, or visit  You may also send an email to For the latest BLM news and updates, visit us on the web at, on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @BLM_MTDKs.

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.

Central Montana District   920 NE Main Street      Lewistown, Montana 59457  

Last updated: 08-18-2014