Public input sought on bison grazing proposal
(LEWISTOWN, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is asking for the public’s help in determining what it should analyze as it considers proposed changes to several grazing leases.
American Prairie Reserve (APR) controls private properties tied to 18 BLM grazing allotments in Fergus, Petroleum, Phillips, and Valley Counties. They have submitted a proposal asking the BLM to modify their grazing permits. APR is seeking permission to: change the class of livestock from cattle to bison; allow for season-long grazing; fortify existing external boundary fences by replacing the second strand from the top with an electrified wire; and remove interior fences.
The BLM plans to analyze all 18 grazing allotments in one Environmental Assessment (EA) to consolidate efforts across the district.
“We are asking the public to provide input on what they feel needs to be analyzed in the EA,” said BLM North Central Montana District Manager Mark Albers. “The most helpful comments are those that describe specific issues upon which we should focus our analysis, rather than a personal opinion on the relative merits of the proposed changes.”
The BLM will hold four open-house style scoping meetings to provide the public with information about the proposal and the National Environmental Policy Act process.
April 9 - Petroleum County Courthouse Basement, 302 East Main St., Winnett, Mont.
April 10 - Winifred Community Center, 210 Main St., Winifred, Mont.
April 11 - Old Junior High Gym, 505 S 3rd Ave. E., Malta, Mont.
April 12 - Cottonwood Inn, 54250 U.S. 2, Glasgow, Mont.
All scoping meeting will run from 1:30 to 5 p.m. The scoping period runs from April 9 to May 9, 2018. After scoping comments are received and reviewed, a Draft Environmental Assessment will be produced and released to the public for a 30-day review period. During that review period, BLM will return to these same communities and host meetings to gather input from the public.
The BLM is Making America Great through Shared Conservation. The BLM welcomes and values your diverse views. Scoping comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: APR Scoping Comments, BLM Malta Field Office, 47285 Highway 2, Malta, MT 59538.
Scoping comments may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Do not include in your scoping comments personally identifiable information you do not want to be made public.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.