Do you want to learn about BLM’s plans for regaining car access to the Bullwhacker area of the Missouri Breaks Monument?
Camping in the Bullwhacker – “some of the wildest country on all the Great Plains,” according to the 2001 Proclamation that established the Monument. (Photo courtesy Mary Frieze.)
In early December, BLM is hosting scoping meetings on its plan to build a new road into the Bullwhacker. A new road would bypass the current road, which a local court unfortunately ruled private in 2011.
We have a lot of questions for BLM about their plans to build a new road in the Monument. The December scoping meetings are giving us an opportunity to ask those questions, and to make sure that any concerns we have are addressed in the upcoming Environmental Assessment (EA) on the new road.
- How will this new road affect wildlife habitat, corridors and connectivity? Particularly for the elk, mule deer and sage grouse in the Bullwhacker that are specifically listed in the Monument proclamation?
- How will these routes affect species that might be on the verge of being listed under the Endangered Species Act, ie Greater Sage-grouse?
- How will this affect the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument? Please consider all BLM Monument management manuals and National Conservation Lands strategies when formulating alternatives.
- How will this affect taxpayers? What are the costs for each of the alternatives? Where is the money coming from? General budget funds that have already been appropriated?
- If the money to pay for this project is coming from general budget funds, what projects, programs or focus areas will be cancelled or delayed due to this roads-building project?
- What mitigation measures is BLM considering? What’s the process there? We urge the agency to consider what/when (timeframes)/where/how to pay for any proposed mitigation measures, and to put these details in the EA to assure the public that these measures will be implemented.
- Will there be an opportunity to comment on a draft of the EA?
Please join us at these meetings, to ask any questions you might have about the routes or the process. Here’s the meeting schedule:
Tuesday, December 2, 6:00-8:00 pm – Great Falls: Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (4201 Giant Springs Rd.)
Wednesday, December 3, 6:00-8:00 pm – Chinook: Chinook Motor Inn
Thursday, December 4, 6:00-8:00 pm – Lewistown: BLM Central Montana District Office (920 NE Main)
Please join us at the BLM scoping meetings. We’re looking forward to working with you to make your voice heard on the EA. Let’s make sure that any actions to establish new access into the Bullwhacker respect the protected status of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
– Beth Kampschror, Executive Director