The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is attempting to prohibit seaplanes on 146 miles of the Missouri River in central Montana. Combined with existing regulations within the adjacent Charles Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the BLM's proposal would close about 200 contiguous miles of the Missouri River to seaplanes and leave another 50 miles closed in all but three often-unsuitable landing locations. The Missouri River provides the only practical flyway for seaplanes transiting the Rocky Mountains, making floatplane access to the river critical to flight operations and safety. The BLM's proposal is being opposed by AOPA, the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA), Columbia Seaplane Pilots Association, and other regional organizations. The BLM is receptive to letters, so comments received from pilots like you will be crucial in the effort to preserve access to this important stretch of river. Helpful information, including graphical depictions of the proposed closures, talking points for comment letters, the Columbia SPA's extensive comment letter, and instructions for submitting your comments by April 26 can be found on the SPA's Web site.
March 17, 2006