According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu), Southwest Montana is currently experiencing climatic conditions ranging from "abnormally dry" to "severe drought." In an effort to sustain use of the renewable forage, as well as to manage and protect other important resources during this drought cycle, the Bureau of Land Management is asking livestock permittees to graze no more than 70 percent of their allocated forage on the public lands administered by the Dillon and Butte Field Offices.
The counties included in this temporary reduction include Beaverhead, Madison, Jefferson, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Silver Bow and Park counties.
To provide the most flexibility to public land users, these reductions may be made by decreasing the number of livestock, the length of time spent on public lands or a combination of the two management strategies.
If soil moisture improves substantially during the next couple of months, additional livestock use may be authorized up to the permitted use.
For more information regarding these temporary drought reductions, contact Pat Fosse at 406-683-8039 (Dillon Field Office) or Tanya Thrift at 406-533-7650 (Butte Field Office) or visit www.blm.gov/mt.