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Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

October 4, 2016

Summary

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–A). The purpose of the proposed action is to protect the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its habitat from potential adverse effects of locatable mineral exploration and mining. The U.S. Geological Survey Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA) project was initiated in November 2015 and supported by the Bureau of Land Management to (1) assess locatable mineral-resource potential and (2) to describe leasable and salable mineral resources for the seven SFAs and Nevada additions.

This chapter summarizes the current status of locatable, leasable, and salable mineral commodities and assesses the potential of locatable minerals in the North-Central Montana SFA. The proposed withdrawal area that is evaluated in this report is located in north-central Montana, and includes parts of Fergus, Petroleum, Phillips, and Valley Counties.

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