the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
has broken faith with the Public
BLM is not pursuing a Bullwhacker Access Road Process
At the end of June I called
BLM, spoke with BLM Central Montana District Manager Stan Benes
about the Wilks Durfee Hills trespass investigation (still not
filed with the Federal Register and still "under investigation").
While I had him on the phone I inquired into the Bullwhacker
access road and was told that the Bullwhacker Road access is
"not a priority" for BLM at this time, contrary to his statement
in BLM's Sep. 2014 press release, "Public access to public lands
continues to be one of BLM Montana/Dakotas’ top priorities,”
said Stan Benes, the BLM Central Montana District Manager. "Our
charge in this particular situation is actually to restore the
access the public historically had for many decades." He explained
that they were a man down in the office, that there were other
priorities they were tending to, that they didnt have the finances
for a new road, at which point I reminded him that RMEF had
offered to contribute to a new road, as had others and even
construction. That was dismissed.
For those of you who think that BLM has actually followed through
with a formal EIS process to build a road to re-establish the
Bullwhacker access, you would be mistaken. BLM has not filed
a Notice of Intent with the Federal Register that begins the
formal process. I verified this in January with Mike Kania,
but due to no linear time, memory or processing at that time,
I forgot to alert the newsletter subscribers to this fact. I
confirmed this again, this last Friday, when I checked back
with Kania after the Wilks land proposal draft going out. All
the scoping meetings were outside the formal process, were simply
preliminary. So basically a year has passed and we have nothing
to show for it. BLM has broken faith with the Public.
This last Thursday night, July 9th, the Wilks sent out a draft
BLM-Wilks Land Exchange Proposal that began making the rounds.
I had been preparing for this and that was part of my documentation
The Wilks representative, Darryl James, had set up a private
working group to discuss and promote their land exchange proposal.
"This proposal reflects the shared interests of the Wilks’,
the BLM and a broad array of landowner, sportsmen, conservation
and recreation groups who have engaged in constructive dialogue
in an attempt to satisfy as many needs and desires as possible,
while still achieving the overall goal of the exchange." This
remains to be seen.
I have set up a webpage with a link to the draft proposal and
key points that address the variety of issues with this situation
BLM has broken faith with
the Public/Wilks Brothers Land Exchange Proposal page
The Public was told by BLM in good faith that, "The Bureau of
Land Management... has begun the process required to reestablish
road access into the Bullwhacker Coulee area of the Upper Missouri
River Breaks National Monument." " 'Public access to public
lands continues to be one of BLM Montana/Dakotas’ top priorities,'
said Stan Benes, the BLM Central Montana District Manager.
'Our charge in this particular situation is actually to restore
the access the public historically had for many decades.' "
"An environmental assessment is expected to be available by
May. The goal is to complete the decision process in summer
Please contact Bureau of Land Management State Director
asking that the BLM repair this breach in the Public Trust,
file the formal Notice of Intent with the Federal Register,
to officially begin the EIS on reestablishing road access into
the Bullwhacker Coulee area of the Upper Missouri River Breaks