The Roundup -

BLM Issues Proposed Decision On American Prairie Reserve Grazing Application On Flat Creek Allotment

 


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a proposed decision to change a grazing permit on the Flat Creek Allotment in Northeastern Montana to allow bison to graze on federal land all year.

The American Prairie Reserve (APR) purchased private lands in Phillips County in 2014, which had been primarily used to grow crops and forage for livestock. The associated 13-thousand acre Flat Creek Allotment has historically been used for cattle grazing.

APR submitted a proposal to switch from seasonal grazing of cattle to yearlong grazing of 385 bison. They also asked to remove internal fencing in order to manage the private and public land as one common pasture. There would be no change in the number of federal Animal Unit Months (AUMs) permitted.

At the conclusion of a year long public planning process, the BLM has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and has issued a Proposed Decision authorizing the changes requested by APR. These documents are available online at http://1.usa.gov/1NSdr0O.

The Proposed Decision would authorize the permittee to remove interior fencing and graze bison. It also includes mitigation measures and adaptive management conditions.

Because the allotment is within the recently defined Sagebrush Focal Area, lands under the grazing permit would be prioritized for field checks to ensure compliance with both Standards for Rangeland Health and desired conditions for Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat.

Any applicant, permittee, lessee, or other affected interest may protest a Proposed Decision under Sec. 43 CFR§4160.1. Protests must be made in writing within 15 days after receipt of this proposed decision to: Field Manager, Bureau of Land Management, 501 South 2nd St. East, Malta, MT 59538.

Written protests should clearly and concisely state the reason(s) why this Proposed Decision is in error. A written protest electronically transmitted (e.g., email, facsimile, or social media) will not be accepted as a protest. A written protest must be on paper.

For more information, call (406) 654-5100.

 

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