MONTANA - Butte BLM seeks public comment on Iron Mask Environmental Assessment

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June 13, 2014 8:34 AM

MONTANA - Butte BLM seeks public comment on Iron Mask Environmental Assessment

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Butte Field Office has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) of resource conditions on public lands within the Iron Mask Planning Area for public review.

The Iron Mask Planning Area is located near Townsend and includes approximately 26,397 acres of land. In the EA, the BLM is studying such issues as travel management, grazing authorizations and vegetation treatments. Public comments will be taken for 45 days, beginning on June 6, 2014, and ending on July 22, 2014. The EA is available at the Butte Field Office (BFO) and online at the office's website at

In addition to the 45-day comment period, the BLM will host an open house to discuss the Iron Mask Planning Area EA and to answer questions about the proposed projects in the planning area. The open house is scheduled for June 25, 2014, from 5-7 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service, Townsend Ranger District Office, 415 S. Front St. in Townsend, Montana.

Potential decisions to be made in the Iron Mask Planning Area include:

  • Which travel routes within the Iron Mask acquisition area would be managed as open to the public for motorized use, or limited to authorized/administrative uses, and what restrictions would be required, if any; including the location of parking areas and trailheads.
  • What, if any, types of structural range improvements and grazing systems would be established for the Indian Creek Forage Reserve grazing allotment.
  • Whether or not to renew grazing authorizations on six allotments that will expire in coming years or are currently authorized under Appropriation Act provisions.
  • Whether to treat upland vegetation to restore vegetation communities toward a more historic condition with regard to vegetation/wildlife habitat types and wildland fuels conditions, and -- if so -- how many acres would be treated with what types of treatments.
  • What actions, if any, would be taken to address soil erosion and water quality impacts in the project area which are occurring from historic mining, one large stream headcut and locations on roads where water flow is disrupted.
  • Whether to reconstruct or make adjustments to existing fences that do not currently meet wildlife specifications.

When commenting, the BLM asks that comments be as specific as possible, including suggestions regarding resource issues, data sources or alternatives to be considered in the final environmental analysis.

Comments may be mailed to the Butte Field Office at 106 N. Parkmont, Butte, MT 59701 or e-mailed to

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

To get a copy of the Environmental Assessment, call the Butte Field Office at (406) 533-7600 or email The report is also available for review online at

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists.
1-800-BLUERIB - www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org


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