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BLM Plans To Acquire 13,000 Acres Near Missoula

The Blackfoot River near Belmont Creek.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC)
The Blackfoot River near Belmont Creek.

13,000 acres of land in the lower Blackfoot watershed may become public.

Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released an environmental assessment on a proposal to do that in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. A 30-day public comment period to evaluate the impacts of acquiring the land is now open.

The land is in the Belmont Creek area 25 miles northeast of Missoula, made famous by its appearance in Norman Maclean’s novel, “A River Runs Through It.”

The proposal intends to improve public access for recreation while maintaining forest management projects.

Land would be acquired in phases, proposing about one-third of the acres to be acquired by late fall of this year, using funds allocated by Congress from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This year’s allocation of $3 million will allow the BLM to acquire approximately 4,800 acres of the 13,000 acres by late fall of 2019.

Public comments for the EA can be mailed or emailed to the Missoula BLM Field Office by June 27.

To comment on the proposed acquisition:

Email the Missoula Field Office at

Or mail comments to
Missoula Field Office
P.O. Box 3255 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula. MT 59804.

For more information, visit the ePlanning website at or contact the Missoula Field Office at (406) 329-3914.

Cassidy Alexander is a UM Journalism School student and MTPR reporter.
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