Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument solicits public input on Left Coulee Access


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Media Contact:

SOUTH BLAINE COUNTY, Mont. – Planners seek public input on a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposal to open a 0.6-mile segment of road providing legal public motorized and mechanized access to the Bullwhacker area of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

In 2023, the Square Butte Grazing Association and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks finalized a Public Access Land Agreement through a private parcel located along Cow Creek in Blaine County, Montana. The proposed opening of the 0.6-mile road segment would follow the alignment of a primitive, unapproved route that was closed in 2008 and connect the now publicly accessible road crossing private property with 51 miles of existing BLM roads in the Bullwhacker area. The proposed road segment extends south from the private parcel to the Left Coulee Airstrip where it meets BLM road 241215. No engineered road-construction activities are proposed.

During the 30-day public scoping period – open from Jan. 3 through Feb. 1, 2024 – BLM staff encourage the public to submit any comments, ideas, issues or concerns that could help shape this project or should be addressed in the project’s travel plan amendment environmental assessment analysis.

Providing recreational opportunities is central to the BLM’s mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Lands within the monument are managed not only for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and other multiple uses within the BLM’s mission, but also to preserve landscapes associated with Lewis and Clarks' journey across the United States, the Nez Perce Trail, wilderness study areas, and wild and scenic rivers.

"Motorized access into the Bullwhacker area of the Monument has been limited for quite awhile. We are interested in hearing what the public’s ideas and concerns are specific to this action,” said Monument Manager Zane Fulbright. “We need to take those into consideration as we analyze how opening this route and connecting into the larger road network would affect the objects of the Monument."

A description of the proposal and maps of the project area are available on the e-Planning website -- https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2030427/510.

Comments may be submitted using the following methods:

Electronic (preferred): BLM e-Planning – https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2030427/510 – click on the green “Participate Now” button.

U.S. Postal Service: Bureau of Land Management

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

ATTN: Left Coulee Access

920 NE Main Street

Lewistown, MT 59457

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.