HELENA, Montana (Legal Newsline) — Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has asked the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cancel a proposal that would see nearly 1 million acres of public land withdrawn from potential mineral exploration and mining.
“From a legal perspective, the proposal is problematic for a number of reasons,” Fox said. “Ongoing litigation suggests BLM lacks the authority to make this withdrawal. But beyond the question of authority, the proposal is pointless since, by BLM’s own admission, only 4 percent the land to be withdrawn has strong potential for mineral development. It flies in the face of reason to take such a broad action that’s scientifically unsupported and that needlessly adds to the voluminous federal regulations burdening Montanans.”
Fox added that the current regulations on mineral development, at both the state and federal level, are sufficient in protecting the environment.
Phillips and Valley Counties hold most of the land that is under consideration.