Take Action: Tell BLM Southwest Montana Is No Place For Oil & Gas Development

The Environmental Assessment (EA) for proposed December 2018 lease sales of public land in Southwest Montana for oil & gas development is now available for public comment.

The public lands proposed for sale this December are exclusively intended for oil & gas development – a type of industrial activity that has no business in critical headwaters, habitat, and open spaces of Southwest Montana.  Of the >10,000 acres up for lease here are a few of the nasty conflicts we’ve identified:

  • Parcels located just a few miles NW of Dillon are adjacent to Rattlesnake Creek, which is part of the City of Dillon’s water supply.
    • These same parcels back up to National Forest lands on the Pioneer Mountains and would threaten game and wildlife corridors.
  • Parcels near Glenn, Montana would threaten noise, light, and sound pollution, not to mention the risk of wastewater or toxic substances and spills near headwaters of the Big Hole River, home of the last native population of fluvial Arctic Grayling.
  • Parcels to the East of Dillon back up to the Ruby Mountains Wilderness Study Area, key game and wildlife habitat, and would threaten the area’s untrammeled, wild and scenic nature.

Please take a moment and SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO BLM asking the agency to protect Montana’s headwaters, vital open spaces, and game and wildlife habitat by withdrawing all Beaverhead and Madison County parcels from the December 2018 sale list.  Public comments must be received by August 24th.

**The BLM comment portal will ask for the specific section and block number of parcels on which you are commenting, yet it’s extremely difficult to identify the exact parcels in question with the BLM website!  Instead of trying to ID every single one of the dozen + parcels we suggest you write, in your narrative section of the BLM comment block, that you “oppose all sales of parcels in Beaverhead and Madison counties within the Dillon Field Office’s jurisdiction and request BLM withdraw these parcels from the December 2018 sale for the reasons noted above.”  Be sure and explain why you feel these places are not suited for oil and gas development, see below for more tips!

Comment writing tips:

  • Don’t miss the deadline… get your comments in on-time
  • Write in your own words.  Quoted letters aren’t counted as individual comments, and neither do sign-on letters.
  • Make your comments relevant.  How does the proposed sale of public lands in the Beaverhead and Big Hole for oil & gas development affect you and what you care about?  Do you camp/hunt/fish/bike/bird watch/visit these areas?
  • Be concise, be respectful, and use proper grammar.
  • Close your comments by asking BLM to withdraw parcels in Beaverhead & Madison Counties from the December 2018 Montana lease sale.

Want more background, or confused about what’s going on?  Click here to read up on the latest about the push to sell-off public lands in the Beaverhead and Big Hole valleys for oil and gas development.  Click here to read our Op-Ed in the Montana Standard.

Click here to download BLM’s Environmental Assessment for the December 2018 public lands sales.

Here’s a timetable for the proposed December 2018 public lands sell-off for Oil & Gas development:

Do you love SW Montana’s public lands and clean, healthy rivers and fisheries?  

Help fund our critical work protecting the things you love in Montana!

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper is the only conservation organization bird-dogging proposals that would harm our waterways, communities, and businesses throughout the entire 25,000 sq. miles of Montana’s Upper Missouri River Basin.  We don’t take corporate monies and we aren’t government funded, meaning its people like you who help us protect special places like the Beaverhead and Big Hole from industrial oil & gas development.

Help us protect fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, today!

3 comments

  1. chapter reference? section reference so many details left out for the. “SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO BLM” link 🙁

    1. Totally understand the difficulty – BLM seems to have made it extremely difficult to identify the exact parcels in question! Instead of trying to ID every single one of the dozen + parcels, we suggest you state, in your narrative section of the BLM comment block, that you “oppose all sales of parcels in Beaverhead and Madison counties within the Dillon Field Office’s jurisdiction and request BLM withdraw these parcels from the December 2018 sale for the reasons noted above.” Be sure and also explain why you feel these places are not suited for oil and gas development, e.g., how you use them and why industrial development would affect your use and appreciation!

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