The BLM is considering charging $75 a night for use of the Henneberry cabin. The fee would provide a reliable source of funding to ensure the long-term maintenance of this facility for future recreational use.
The BLM also proposes to increase the developed campground fees along the Madison River from $8 a night to $12 a night, at dispersed camping sites from $5 a night to $8 a night and increase the daily rental rate at Axolotl Cabin from $50 to $75.
Recreation fees have not been adjusted for the Dillon Field Office recreation sites in nearly 10 years. Periodic adjustments are necessary to maintain some consistency with other comparable facilities and to avoid unfair competition with private sector services.
The Western Montana Resource Advisory Council is currently reviewing the BLM’s fee increase proposals and will discuss them at the council’s next regularly-scheduled meeting.
The BLM has notified and involved the public at each stage of the public participation process outlined in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, including the proposal to collect fees, through the Western Montana RAC and other public scoping avenues.
The BLM is now seeking further public comment on the fee proposal. Comments would be most helpful if received by June 1.
“The Henneberry House is a unique and beautiful cultural resource which plays an important role in the heritage of Beaverhead County,” said Cornie Hudson, Manager of the Dillon Field Office. “Visiting that property is like stepping into a snapshot, frozen in time, of early 20th-century ranching. The proposed fee will help offset costs necessary to preserve that historic setting, giving guests a memorable experience. We hope they’ll come away with a new appreciation for the land and the people who developed it.”
The William F. Henneberry homestead is one of the best preserved examples of early homesteading activities that remains on public lands in Beaverhead County. The homestead is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places for its historic association with land settlement and ranching in the late 1800s and early 1900s along the Beaverhead River south of Dillon. The buildings and the landscape have not been significantly modified or changed since 1883 when William F. Henneberry first settled on the property.
The 1905 house represents the distinct characteristics of log structure construction in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The building displays excellent workmanship, with detailed dovetail notching, and given its age, is in remarkably good condition.
Over the years, the historic property fell into a state of disrepair and would likely have been lost without restoration efforts by the BLM, Montana Preservation Alliance, and others. Funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enabled the BLM to prevent the loss of this property to the elements.
The cabin has been restored and refurbished and now includes a propane range, wood-burning stove, vault toilet, solar power lights, kitchen facilities, and beds, and other furniture.
It is the BLM’s policy to collect fees at all specialized recreation sites such as the Henneberry Homestead or wherever the BLM provides facilities, equipment or services at federal expense in connection with outdoor use. In an effort to meet increasing demands for services and maintenance of this existing historic structure, the BLM proposes to collect fees in order to offset those ongoing costs. The BLM’s mission for the Dillon Field Office Fee Collection Project is to ensure that funding is available to maintain existing facilities and recreational opportunities, to provide for law enforcement presence, to develop additional services, and to protect resources. Comments may be mailed or hand-delivered to the BLM Dillon Field Office, Attn: Field Manager, 1005 Selway Drive, Dillon, MT 59725, or emailed to BLM_MT_Dillon_FO@blm.gov with the subject line “Henneberry Homestead Fee” by June 1. For more information, call (406) 683-8000.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
The text of the Federal Register Notice detailing the proposal, published April 15, can be seen online at http://blm.gov/f3kd
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