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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

 July 29, 2009

6300 (MT9240.4) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2009-057
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:        State Management Team
From:    Deputy State Director, Division of Resources
Subject: Equal Access Guide – Montana/Dakotas Bureau of Land Management
Program Area: Recreation, Travel Planning
Purpose: This IM transmits the Equal Access Guide, which details recommendations and guidelines for providing access to BLM lands for people with disabilities.  These guidelines address non-facility type access issues, primarily road and trail and off-road access, and do not cover all aspects of compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Policy/Action: In order to provide for statewide direction, the attached Equal Access Guide is being sent to field offices to use in addressing accessibility issues for people with disabilities. 
Timeframe: After giving the field offices at least 1 year to use this guide, we will evaluate the implementation, and any necessary adjustments can be made at that time. 
Budget Impact: The effect on the budget would be minimal. 

Background: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all Federal programs, activities and services to be accessible to visitors with disabilities. The DOI regulations for implementing this law were issued in 1987 (43 CFR Part 17).   Field offices are encouraged to provide access opportunities to BLM lands for users with disabilities, while still fulfilling our responsibility for resource care and protection and user safety. This equal access program must be administered in conjunction with appropriate state agencies responsible for establishing hunting regulations. In addition, field offices are encouraged to become aware of, and familiar with, disability resources and issues.  

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None. 

Coordination: Field offices were sent a draft version of this guide and allowed to provide comments before the final form was developed. It was also sent to other interested parties for comment and a presentation was given to the SMT. The guide was again provided for review at the joint Recreation/Engineering Workshop in March of this year.
Contact: If you have any questions about this IM, please contact Ruth Miller, NLCS Lead, Montana State Office, at 406-896-5037.
Signed by:                                                       Authenticated by:
Theresa M. Hanley                                          Kathy Iszler               
Deputy State Director                                     Staff Assistant (MT9240)                              
Division of Resources                                                
1 Attachment
cc: Lance Brady (MT9310) w/Attm.

Last updated: 02-28-2013