BLM pays off portion of debt as old as Montana, giving 2,126 acres to the state
Published 15 days ago by The Billings Gazette

The BLM is negotiating a deal with the state of Montana to settle a 129-year-old debt by transferring some federal lands to the state.

This map, which is part of a Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment, shows parcels of federal land proposed for transfer to the state of Montana.

The BLM is negotiating a deal with the state of Montana to settle a 129-year-old debt by transferring some federal lands to the state.

This map, which is part of a Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment, shows parcels of federal land proposed for transfer to the state of Montana.

Landowners in portions of northern Montana and Miles City should soon have a new neighbor.

On Jan. 26, Bureau of Land Management acting state director Jon Raby signed an agreement giving the state of Montana 2,126 acres to fulfill a portion of a debt owed since 1889. That was the year Congress passed the Enabling Act, which admitted Montana, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota to the Union and gave states sections 16 and 36 of each township.

The problem was that some of those townships had already been set aside for national parks or Indian reservations, so the BLM inherited a debt to the states to compensate them for th ...

Added: 15 days ago