Breaking news: BLM chief denies there is a monument plan
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U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey told a packed house at Malta High School Thursday night that the idea of a national monument in norgthern Montana was "only a concept paper."
"There is no plan for a monument. There is no proposal for Montana," he said.
A flurry of opposition came about after reports that a federal monument designation was being considered for the Malta area.
Ranchers, oil men and others have been very suspicious of federal plans since leaked memos revealed the Obama administration was considering 14 sites in nine states for possible presidential monument declarations.
Many in eastern Montana still harbor bitter feelings over the 2001 creation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
(For further details, read Friday's Havre Daily News.)