BUTTE, MT — Federal land managers propose closing more than 200 miles of roads and trails on public land in southwestern Montana.
Tim LaMarr, BLM plan project manager in Butte, said it sounds like the agency plans to close a lot of trails, but he said many are “user-created” and often are near existing, designated trails.
“There were a lot of what we call redundant roads — basically roads spaced fairly closely on the landscape that go to the same destination,” LaMarr said.
The Butte office of the Bureau of Land Management released its draft resource management plan to dictate what activities are allowed in specific areas in the eight-county region it oversees.
BLM officials inventoried the motorized route system throughout the area and discovered numerous trails created by off-road vehicles, LaMarr said.
“We found that there are a lot of roads out there that the BLM never intended to exist,” he said.
The management plan also includes proposals on energy development, grazing, logging and other vegetation management.
The plan also recommends that six designated wilderness study areas continue to be managed as wilderness: Yellowstone Island, Black Sage, Humbug Spires, Sheep Creek, Sleeping Giant and an add-on to a Forest Service proposed wilderness in the Elkhorn mountains.
The public has 90 days to comment on the draft plan.