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BLM focus groups to discuss recreation in Granite, Missoula, Powell counties

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to hear the public’s opinions on what they think is great about the great outdoors.

The BLM Missoula Field Office will hold a series of focus groups, engaging the public in a conversation about recreation management on BLM-administered public lands in Granite, Missoula, and Powell counties.

The focus groups, scheduled for July 14 and 15 in Seeley Lake, Greenough and Missoula, will be hosted by Colorado Mesa University’s Natural Resource Center and the BLM Missoula Field Office.

“The idea behind the focus groups is to open dialogue between BLM land managers and the public on recreation issues, to provide information for future planning efforts and project assessments, and to gather data needed to better understand the public’s desired outcomes for recreation management in the three-county area,” said Joe Ashor, Missoula Field Office manager.

“We welcome and value diverse views from all members of the public,'' he added. "We strongly believe partnerships and inclusion are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands.”

The sessions are part of data collection associated with the Missoula Field Office’s Resource Management Plan revision.

This research seeks to engage residents, business owners, local leaders, recreational user groups and visitors that either participate in recreational activities in this region, or have a stake in the quality of the experience of those that do.

The focus groups will be facilitated by Dr. Tim Casey, professor of political science at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Dr. Randy Virden, professor emeritus at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Each focus group session will last about two hours. The dates, times, and locations are:

• Friday, July 14: 9:30 a.m., Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown, Madison/Jefferson Rooms 200 S. Pattee St., Missoula

• Friday, July 14: 3 p.m., Seeley Lake Community Hall 3248 Highway 83, Seeley Lake

• Saturday, July 15: 9:30 a.m., Lubrecht Forest 38689 Hwy 200 East, Greenough

For more information, contact Joe Ashor at 406-329-3717 or jashor@blm.gov, or Dr. Tim Casey at 970-248-1095 or tcasey@coloradomesa.edu.

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