By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: January 14, 2020

(DILLON, Mont.) – After examining resource conditions in the East Pioneers and Madison watersheds this past summer, the Dillon Field Office has posted those assessment reports online for public comment.

The field office is seeking input to help formulate alternatives and define issues for the environmental assessment. To be most effective, comments should be submitted to the field office by January 31, 2020.

“We encourage public input on these reports in general, and specifically on the initial interdisciplinary team recommendations which were developed to mitigate the resource issues identified during the assessments,” said Pat Fosse, Assistant Dillon Field Manager.

The East Pioneers watershed is in Beaverhead County and covers about 37,400 acres of BLM-administered land. There are 28 grazing allotments in the East Pioneers watershed covering approximately 35,600 acres of public land.

The Madison watershed is in Madison County and covers approximately 39,300 acres of BLM-administered land. There are 40 grazing allotments in the watershed covering 28,600 acres of BLM-administered public land.

To receive a copy of the watershed assessment report, call the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000, or email MT_Dillon_FO@blm.gov. The assessment reports are also available online at https://go.usa.gov/xp7ks and https://go.usa.gov/xp7kH

In preparing the assessment, the BLM’s Dillon Field Office evaluated watershed resources according to the five standards for rangeland health. These standards include maintaining properly functioning upland and riparian resources, air and water quality to meet state standards, and providing for biodiversity including forest health and fuel conditions.

National Environmental Policy Act documents will be prepared to analyze alternatives for revising management where resource concerns were found within the East Pioneers and Madison watersheds. The NEPA documents will be completed by resource specialists from the Dillon Field Office in coordination with grazing permittees/lessees, other agencies, and members of the public.