ePlanning DOI-BLM-MT-0000-2016-0001-EA (State of Montana In-Lieu Selection Project)  
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12/18/2017 13:07:29 MST
State of Montana In-Lieu Selection
Under the law admitting Montana (State) to the Union, known as the Enabling Act of 1889, the State was entitled to Sections 16 and 36 of each township. Many of the township surveys occurred after Statehood and the lands may already have been set aside for Indian Reservations, National Forests or other title appropriations; therefore, the State did not receive title to sections 16 and 36.  The State could, and still can, select public lands under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction in lieu of the sections 16 or 36 entitlement to which it did not receive title.  This is called an In-Lieu Selection. 

As a result of the BLM’s review of 2,126.11 acres, valued at $1.8 million dollars, known as the Phase I selection, these lands are classified for disposal under the Enabling Act of 1889.  Conveyance of these lands will partially satisfy the $4.1 million dollar federal obligation to the State of Montana.  A subsequent EA will be prepared to consider Phase II selection lands included in the State's selection application.  
No comments were received regarding the Phase I selections following publication of the Notice of Proposed Classification on October 17, 2016, or on the environmental assessment dated April 18, 2017.  Tribal consultation was conducted in the spring of 2016.
Publication of a Federal Register notice on November 15, 2017 details the land found suitable for conveyance as memorialized in the Finding of No Significance Impact (FONSI) dated May 2017.
For a period of 30 days following publication in the Federal Register, requests for administrative review could be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Room 2134LM, WO-350 (Wilhight), Washington DC 20240.  No requests were received and the classification became final on December 15, 2017.

Click on the links to the left for more information on this project.