<![CDATA[ BLM Montana News Release Feed ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/rss/newsreleases/mt.html BLM Montana News Release en-us Thu, 21 Jul 2016 14:27:20 -0600 News mt_so_information@blm.gov (Montana Info) <![CDATA[ Bureau of Land Management settles trespass cases? ?in Fergus, Mussellshell counties ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/bureau_of_land_management.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/bureau_of_land_management.html Thu, 21 Jul 2016 14:27:20 -0600 (BILLINGS, Mont.) – The Lewistown and Billings Field Offices of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have entered into agreements to settle two related trespass cases in Central Montana. 
In 2014, Wilks Ranch Ltd. hired a contractor to construct a fence along the boundary of the NBar Ranch and adjoining BLM lands.
As subsequent administrative inquiry and cadastral survey determined that the contractor cleared a line that was intermittently on BLM land causing damage.  Portions of the fence the contractor erected were found to be on BLM land.
The BLM field offices involved each filed a trespass case, and entered into amicable negotiations with the Wilks. The case between the Billings Field Office and the Wilks has been settled and closed. The Lewistown Field Office signed a settlement agreement with the Wilks on Tuesday
Under the terms of the settlement agreements, Wilks Ranch Ltd. will perform rehabilitation and stabilization work valued at approximately $150,000 and reimburse the BLM a little over $71,000 to cover costs associated with the inquiry and survey.
The Resource Damage Assessment and the settlement agreement between the Lewistown Field Office and the Wilks can be found online at http://on.doi.gov/29Z53L1.

– BLM –
<![CDATA[ Enjoy Matthews Recreation Area ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/enjoy_matthews_recreation.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/enjoy_matthews_recreation.html Wed, 20 Jul 2016 14:46:48 -0600 (MILES CITY, Mont.) --- Need a break from town? Is the workplace routine starting to wear on you? Take a drive over to the Matthews Recreation Area and rejuvenate yourself at this publicly-accessible spot along the Yellowstone River. ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM oil and gas lease auction brings in nearly $28,000 ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/blm_oil_and_gas_lease.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/blm_oil_and_gas_lease.html Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:45:47 -0600 (BILLINGS, Mont.) – Bids on three oil and gas leases brought in nearly $28,000 at an auction the Bureau of Land Management held Tuesday in Billings.
All three of the leases are for federal minerals in Fall River County, S.D., which lie beneath private surface ownership and are within the administrative boundaries of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland, administered by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service.
Murfin Drilling Company Inc., of Wichita, Kan., was the highest bidder, paying $66 an acre for a lease on a 320 acre parcel.
BLM oil and gas leases are awarded for a period of 10 years and for as long thereafter as there is production in paying quantities. The revenue from the sale of Federal leases, as well as the 12.5 percent royalties collected from the production of those leases, is shared between the Federal Government and the states.
Potential environmental effects that could result from exploration and development are analyzed before any leases are offered for sale.  All leases come with conditions on oil and gas activities to protect the environment that can include limits on when drilling can occur or restrictions on surface occupancy. 
Once an operator proposes exploration or development on a BLM-issued lease, further environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act is conducted to determine the site-specific need for various types of impact-limiting or mitigation measures.  In addition, many operators routinely use Best Management Practices such as remote monitoring of producing wells and multiple wells per pad to minimize surface impacts. 
<![CDATA[ Fire Update: Harris Fire ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/fire_update__harris.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/fire_update__harris.html Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:26:24 -0600 (MILES CITY, Mont.) – The Miles City Interagency Dispatch Center is showing the “Harris Fire” located in Rosebud County as having burned approximately 3,400 acres, according to the most recent report this morning. ]]> <![CDATA[ RAC meets July 14 in Billings ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/rac_meets_july_14.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/rac_meets_july_14.html Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:40:12 -0600 (MILES CITY, Mont.) – The BLM Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council will hold their business meeting in Billings July 14. ]]> <![CDATA[ Stage 1 fire restrictions for South Central Montana ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/stage_1_fire_restrictions.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/stage_1_fire_restrictions.html Thu, 7 Jul 2016 14:46:39 -0600 (BILLINGS, Mont.) – Long, hot summer days and continuing drought are causing grasses, shrubs and trees to dry out across South Central Montana.  The resulting increased fire danger has prompted authorities to begin implementing fire restrictions across the region.

Carbon County instituted Stage 1 fire restrictions on July 1.  Yellowstone County began Stage 1 restrictions on July 5.  Big Horn, Musselshell, Stillwater and Treasure counties will go into Stage 1 restrictions on Friday, July 8. In cooperation with the counties, all Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) lands within these counties will also be placed in appropriate Stage 1 restrictions.

Stage 1 fire restrictions apply to campfires and smoking.  Under Stage 1 restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, fire ring or improved site.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.  
Exemptions to the above Stage 1 prohibitions include the following:

  • Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  • Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.
  • Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  • Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • All land within a city boundary is exempted.
  • Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe/jurisdiction.
Sweet Grass County implemented an open burning ban on June 21. All these restrictions will remain in effect until there is a significant change in fire danger. 

Fireworks are prohibited on state and federal lands. Exploding targets available for sale to recreational shooters are also considered a pyrotechnic product and are included under these restrictions. 

Any individual who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs.  

For additional information on fire restrictions, visit the fire restrictions website at www.firerestrictions.us.
<![CDATA[ Grizzly bear presentation hosted at Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/grizzly_bear_presentation.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/grizzly_bear_presentation.html Thu, 7 Jul 2016 14:24:21 -0600 (FORT BENTON, Mont.) –  Northern Montana residents have unique opportunity next week to learn about the biology and natural history of the grizzly bear in the United States. ]]> <![CDATA[ Know the rules at Glendive OHV Area ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/know_the_rules_at.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/july/know_the_rules_at.html Wed, 6 Jul 2016 08:55:57 -0600 (MILES CITY, Mont.) – MILES CITY, Mont. --- The BLM Miles City Field Office would like everyone to enjoy a safe and sane summer at the popular Glendive Short Pine Off-Highway Vehicle Area-- and respecting others, local landowners and Public Land resources will help ensure that happens. ]]> <![CDATA[ MCFO-Fireworks prohibited on BLM lands and properties ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/june/mcfo-fireworks_prohibited.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/june/mcfo-fireworks_prohibited.html Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:08:37 -0600 (MILES CITY, Mont.) – Fireworks are prohibited in the parking lot and adjacent undeveloped land near the BLM offices in Miles City. ]]> <![CDATA[ Russian Delegation visits BLM in Great Falls ]]> http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/june/russian_delegation.html http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/june/russian_delegation.html Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:45:20 -0600 (GREAT FALLS, Mont.) – An eager Russian delegation met with BLM mangers, fire and forestry personnel at the Bureau of Land Management HiLine District Office in Great Falls, Mont., June 9, 2016. 
The Russian visitors consisted of five delegates and two interpreters, who represented the Russian Greenpeace organization and Moscow State University.
HiLine Oil and Gas Division Chief Dale Manchester started the meeting with an overview of the BLM organization.
The delegation expressed interest in learning about the BLM’s Fire and Forestry management programs. To accommodate their focus of interest, BLM presenters traveling from Lewistown included Central Montana Fire Zone Fire Management Officer Brett Blumhardt, Fire Mitigation & Education Specialist Karly DeMars, Engine Capt. Isaac Wald, Assistant Engine Capt. Clint Mrnak, Seasonal Wildland Firefighter Kyle Patten, and Forester Bruce Reid. 
Reid talked about forest management practices used in the BLM Lewistown Field Office. 
Blumhardt and DeMars gave a presentation on the Central Fire Zone’s fire management practices, which included the Fire organization structure; fire suppression (both engine and aerial); prescribed fire and vegetation management; and fire education and prevention. At the conclusion of the presentation, Wald treated the delegation to a tour of a BLM Type 6 fire engine. 
Several members of the delegation asked in depth questions regarding fire management and forestry practices.  “The language interpretation took additional time, as the presenter would say a sentence, then the interpreter would relay the information in Russian, a delegate might ask a question, and then the interpreter would say the question back to the English speaking presenter,” said Blumhardt.  “It took three times longer to convey our message. Although many in the delegation could speak and understand English, the need for an interpreter was evident.”
The delegation was hosted in Great Falls by the Advisory Commission on International Relationships for the city of Great Falls (ACIR) and Open World Leadership Center (OWLC).  ACIR’s mission is “to promote, facilitate and nurture international relationships for the city of Great Falls, Mont.”  OWLC is an independent government agency of the U.S. Congress that hosts current and future leaders of several Eurasian countries.  They aid in developing “a network of leaders in the region who have gained firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government.” 
“It was an honor to spend several hours with the Russian delegates,” said DeMars, “It is interesting to hear that the fire management situation in Russia is not all that different than our situation in the United States in regards to human caused fires. There are many differences in our management practices, though. Much of the wildfires in Russia are extinguished exclusively using a volunteer workforce. Fire prevention, as well as suppression coordination and training are managed by non-government organizations in Russia. Forest resources are managed to exclude fire, particularly planned ignitions such as prescribed fire.”
In the spirit of enhancing international relations between Russia and the United States, at the conclusion of the meeting the Americans and Russians exchanged business cards and promised to follow-up with future interaction.