DILLON, Montana — The Bureau of Land Management Dillon Field Office is proposing to increase and begin collection of fees at BLM recreation sites along the Madison River.
Costs for general maintenance and daily operations of these sites is increasing annually. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in recreation use of these sites over the past five years. For example, in the summer of 2022, 58,347 passenger vehicles accessed the Warm Springs recreation site, up from 37,617 in 2019. Increasing operational costs and more visitor pressure has highlighted the need for year-round maintenance, as well as required supplemental staff presence to provide satisfactory visitor services. Revisions to fees will allow the BLM to plan for adequate staffing, adding flexibility for resource management and enhanced land-use planning activities. These proposed fees will also support improved visitor safety and amenities.
“The BLM recognizes how important the Madison River is to local communities and the many visitors who recreate there,” said Amanda James, Dillon Field Manager. “We developed this fee proposal with that in mind and with a goal to make sure folks can enjoy this area for many generations to come.”
The full business plan with these fee proposals can be found at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2030198/510.
Public comments on the fee proposals may be mailed to:
Attention: Madison River Recreation Fee Program
Dillon Field Office
1005 Selway Drive
Dillon, MT 50725
Or, emailed to (with a subject line of “Madison River Recreation Fee Program”): BLM_MT_Dillon_FO@blm.gov. Comments are due by January 5, 2024. This fee proposal will be considered by the Western Montana Resource Advisory Council at their January 11, 2024, meeting in Missoula. The Madison River proposal is the second of three fee proposals that the Western Montana District of the BLM plans to bring to the Resource Advisory Council. The other two are new fees and increases for the Butte Field Office, which has already been through public comment, and fee increases for Garnet Ghost Town, which will be released for public comment on roughly the same schedule as this Madison River proposal.