American Prairie Reserve Asks BLM for Rule Change

 

April 25, 2018



The Bureau of Land Management, BLM, have been having meetings, which they call scoping meetings, around the state trying to make sure citizens of Montana and the true owners of public lands are completely informed concerning the request of the American Prairie Reserve (APR) has made concerning modifying their permit to allow year-round grazing by the bison and to remove interior fencing on the BLM allotments. The BLM wants to take public comments to help them determine exactly what will need to be studied during the environmental impact study. There are 260,000 acres of public property involved, therefore every citizen has a right to make their opinions known, and the truth is, it is important that we do so.

According the BLM, “APR seeks 10-year grazing permit for 18 allotments located within the BLM’s Glasgow. Lewistown, and Malta Field Offices and The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. The permit terms generally include: change in livestock type from cattle to bison; change in the season of use to year-round grazing; In general, removal of interior allotment fencing to create one pasture once the type of livestock has been changed to bison, while retaining livestock water sources; Electrification of perimeter allotment fencing; Use of best available science to determine bison source; follow the same guidelines as cattle ranchers for disease control, as required by the Montana Department of Livestock.”


The land involved includes 86,426 acres of APR deeded land, 29,309 acres of State of MT. DNRC, and 260,893 acres of BLM land. This number of acres could support 6,000 bison. The preliminary issues identified by BLM that could be a part of the environmental impact study are: Cultural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Status, Paleontological Resources, Recreation and Public Safety, Socioeconomics, Soil Resources, Special Designation Lands, Vegetation, Visual Resources, and Water Resources. If you have any concerns or comments in any of these areas now is the time to let the BLM be aware before they make the decisions concerning the environmental impact study.

On the BLM site, they make recommendations how to provide effective comments. Powerful and impactful comments use accurate information, not just statements of opinions. You will need logical recommendations. Any new information that would be reliant to their analysis is always wanted. They are also looking for reasonable alternatives, not just statement of reactions. And before you write your comments research BLM’s authority, in other words what they can and cannot do.

You need to make your comments by May 9th, so it needs to happen quickly. Send your comments to APR Scoping Comments, BLM Malta Field Office, 47285 Highway 2 Malta, Mt 59538 or email to blm_mt_scoping_ncmd@blm.gov.

 
 

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