Envisioning the Lands: The Lower Blackfoot


The BLM would like to hear the community’s perspective on what’s important about public lands, hear about specific interests, and share your ideas for managing this landscape. The Missoula Field Office – Bureau of Land Management is acquiring public lands from The Nature Conservancy in the lower Blackfoot river watershed from Johnsrud Park to Roundup, including the Twin Creek, Gold Creek, and Belmont drainages, as well as the Game Ridge and Ninemile Prairie area. As many of our RWM trail runners hold these places dear, we thought we would share the following letter:


Dear Lower Blackfoot Envisioning Participants,    

I speak collectively for myself, Michael, Maggie, and Claire when I tell you that your participation during the recent BLM envisioning sessions was a wonderful learning and sharing experience for all of us as public land managers. We really enjoyed hearing your stories, learning how and why you connect to this landscape, and your visions and ideas for how BLM can manage them as they become public lands. Thank you for taking your time and building those relationships with us. In the next few weeks, we will be communicating with you as we continue seeking public involvement for this newly acquired lands envisioning process.    

First, as we mentioned in the sessions, your feedback will be included in a  Lower Blackfoot Situation Assessment; a document being written by our contracted facilitators – Mike and Diane – who graciously led us through our conversations with you. That document will come to you soon in draft form after our public open houses; we want to ensure that we correctly captured your insights, focusing on the major themes and ideas we heard through the week. If you feel that your voice isn’t correctly captured through this document, please let us know and we are happy to revisit it. The situation assessment report will be made publicly available as we move forward.    

Next, we need your help. The BLM is beginning preparations for public open house events with the community on April 11th  and 12th  at the Missoula Public Library and West Riverside Community Park (formerly known as Hellgate Lions Park). Just like our conservations with you, our intent is to listen to the public without presenting a project proposal – these open-ended conversations will help BLM staff understand the community’s public land values as we continue our initial assessment. Many of you have connections to larger communities that you helped represent during our one-on-one sessions and we’d love to have you invite those folks to our public open houses. These events will take place on April 11th  and 12th, with more information in the attached event flyer. As you can, please share this information on your social media pages, listservs, or at your community events to help us get the word out. We will begin a media campaign around these events in mid-March and send follow up reminders the first week of April.    

Again, your participation in these listening sessions was a valuable experience for us as managers. Thank you!  



Erin Carey  

Missoula Field Manager | Western Montana District
Bureau of Land Management
3255 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-329-3717 (w) 406-273-1842 (c)