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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
September 15, 2009
9230 (MT9240.2) P
Instruction Memorandum  No. MT-2009-069
Expires:  10/01/2009
To:         Field Manager, Butte Field Office
               Field Manager, Missoula Field Office
              Attention: Outdoor Recreation Planners
From:     State Director
Subject:  Evaluation of Recreation Fee Program for Montana/Dakotas         DDs:   09/30/09
Program Area: Recreation Fee Program
Purpose: The purpose of this IM is to notify the Butte and Missoula Field Offices that they were selected by the Recreation and Visitor Services Division (WO-250) to have their fee program evaluated by Coray Gurnitz Consulting.  The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), Section 9, requires the evaluation of the recreation fee program and reporting to Congress. To ensure that the intent of the REA is being administered properly, the BLM is conducting an independent evaluation of its recreation fee program implementation on a state-by-state basis.  The 2009 AWP stated that the Montana/Dakotas’ offices would be evaluated this fiscal year.  
Policy/Action:  On September 30-October 1, 2009, the WO Recreation and Visitor Services Division will conduct the Butte Field Office review. The review for the Missoula Field Office will be conducted on October 2, 2009. Each evaluation will consist of a 2- to 3-hour office review of the collection procedures, law enforcement concerns, recreation staff involved at fee management site, and the overall fee management program including special recreation permits. Personnel from all of these divisions will need to be available on these dates. After the office review, site visits to select areas will be conducted. The Butte Field Office will have Divide Campground, Clarks Bay, Devil’s Elbow, and White Sandy sites reviewed. The Missoula Field Office will have site reviews of the Thibideau Campground and Garnet Ghost Town.
Timeframe: The Butte Field Office will have their office review the afternoon of September 30, and the Divide Campground site visit. October 1 will be spent at the Helena area fee sites on Hauser Lake.  The Missoula Field Office will have their office review and site visits on October 2. The final fee site report for each site will be worked on during the days of the physical site review.
Budget Impact:  The impact to the current Montana/Dakotas’ budget will be minimal since the funds were taken “off the top” at the WO from the 1220 program.  Field offices will not have to pay any of this evaluation cost.
Background:  These fee programs have significant Congressional interest.  As such, the program has significant fiduciary responsibility for management and control of public funds.  The BLM’s 2009 AWP for the 1220 program directs that the Montana/Dakotas’ fee program be evaluated. The evaluation process is intended as a means to collect and apply “lessons learned” from our experiences with collecting fees.  Further, the evaluation process will help to monitor and improve the appropriate use of revenues collected on priority maintenance and enhancement projects. A few days are required for the selected field office staff to assist the contractor.  Anthony Bobo (WO-250) and Chris Miller (MSO) will assist the contractor and field offices with the evaluations held September 30-October 2, 2009. The 2008 California Evaluation, which the Montana/Dakotas’ evaluation will be based on, can be viewed at the share drive N:/SORecreation/Audits.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.
Coordination:  Field offices were informed about this audit in the AWP, issued IM
No. MT-2009-058, and this topic was discussed at the annual Recreation Workshop in March this year. This topic was also discussed on several of the recreation/travel management/wilderness monthly conference calls between the state office and field offices.
Contact:  If you have questions or concerns regarding this IM, contact Chris Miller at (406) 896-5038.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Howard A. Lemm                                                       Kathy Iszler
for Gene R. Terland                                                    Staff Assistant (MT9240)      

Last updated: 02-28-2013