March 25, 2021
BLM Eastern Montana/Dakotas District
111 Garryowen Road
Miles City, MT 59301
RE: Lower Musselshell River Acquisition_EA_Public Comment
Dear Mr. Jacobsen,
Now that the Environmental Assessment is complete, the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers would like to express our enthusiastic and continued support of this acquisition and the efforts of the Bureau and cooperating partners to make it happen.
More than 3 million acres of public lands in Montana are currently landlocked and therefore inaccessible to hunters, fishermen and other recreationalists and taxpayers. In addition to increasing the acres held in public trust for all to enjoy, this purchase would open thousands of inaccessible acres that are already public.
Additionally, this project would create a contiguous block of public land extending into the Charles M. Russel Wildlife Refuge from many miles southward, from the Musselshell River corridor leading all the way into the Missouri River.
And finally, the prospects of this acquisition are all the more exciting given the area’s truly unique landscapes, outstanding big game habitat and nearly unbroken wildness.
Now that an EA has been done, our previous support has been confirmed. Opening roughly 9,000 acres of existing public land to access, creating a contiguous area for wildlife to thrive, growing our public lands for the benefit of all along with over 77 miles of pre-existing roads, will benefit all of Montana's recreationists and the wild animals that thrive there. We see no better use of LWCF dollars provided by the recently signed Great American Outdoors Act. Those monies are specifically set aside for projects like this one, and we are glad to see them used in such a beneficial way. This assessment shows the full benefit generated by such a use of these funds. We stand by this project and lend our full support.
Jake Schwaller, Eastern Montana Board Member
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers