- The area known as the Butte Valley National Grassland was dedicated in July 1991 and became the nations 21st National Grassland. It consists of 18,425 acres and is situated at an elevation of approximately 4200 ft. The annual precipitation is 12 inches.
The designation of the area as National Grassland is not a description of the area as much as a statement of policy and effort to restore the area to a multiple of uses and benefits.
This area has endured many changes over the past 50 years. Prior to public ownership, the flat, sandy soils and lake bed enticed homesteaders to settle the area. The land was ditched, drained, plowed, and grazed. In the 1940's a portion of it was even a bombing range. The manipulations took a toll on the land. Productivity decreased and, with the drought of the 1930's, there became a need to reclaim the land and help the stranded homesteaders.
These submarginal lands were purchased by the government in 1937 and administrated by the Soil Conservation Service which started the task of stabilizing the land by planting over 4,000 acres of crested wheatgrass. Grazing continued until 1991 when the area was designated a National Grassland.
Recreation - Minimal recreational opportunities.
South of Dorris, north of Goosenest Ranger District Office on US Highway 97.