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BLM announces the first Veteran Interagency Hotshot Crew - 11/13/18

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Oregon/Washington office announced today the Lakeview Veterans Fire Crew has achieved certification as the Lakeview Veterans Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC).  Of the 112 IHCs throughout the nation, Lakeview Veterans is the tenth BLM-funded hotshot crew, and the only one focused on recruiting and developing veterans.

Interagency Hotshot Crews are the most highly trained and experienced type of hand crews and they must meet and maintain stringent requirements to achieve the IHC status. Their primary mission is to provide a safe, professional, mobile response to all phases of fire management and incident operations. IHCs are staffed, conditioned, equipped and qualified to meet a variety of strategic and tactical wildland fire assignments, and they are typically relied upon for the most challenging fire assigments.  When not committed to fire assignments, IHCs provide a workforce to accomplish a variety of resource management objectives while maintaining availability for incident mobilization.

In 2016, Lakeview Crew 7 and the Lakeview BLM fire organization requested that the Lakeview Veterans Crew begin the process to be certified as an IHC. Over the subsequent two years, the Lakeview Veterans Crew took steps to meet the IHC requirements before being formally certified at the national level.

“We’re proud of the Lakeview crew and the continued efforts to develop a workforce of Veterans. We recognize the diligence and tenacity required to meet Hotshot crew standards, which demonstrates the exemplary quality and performance ingrained in this crew,” says Jeffrey Fedrizzi, BLM Deputy Director, Fire and Aviation.

The Lakeview Veterans IHC will provide an opportunity for veterans to work in a team environment and build skills and experience. Team members will also learn about opportunities to work for and become competitive for employment with the Federal Government in other natural resource arenas.

“What makes this crew unique is our ability to work together through stressful situations, including long-duration fires. Vets are used to that,” said Michael McGirr, Lakeview Veterans IHC Superintendent. “The ability to lead and follow is apparent from their military time. And the medical experience on our crew is well above standard. Several of our vets have combat paramedic experience,” continued McGirr.

The Lakeview Veterans IHC also has four drone pilots, who flew more than 100 missions on fires in 2018.  These drone missions provided everything from mapping and scouting fire lines to spot fire detection and aerial ignitions.

Photos of Lakview Crew 7 are available at:  https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZpTc1t

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

Interior Department Announces Second Consecutive Year of Growth in Energy Revenues as FY 2018 Disbursements Climb to $8.93 Billion - 11/01/18

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today that Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed $8.93 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 from energy production on federal and American Indian lands and offshore areas. That figure represents an increase of $1.82 billion over the previous year.

“President Trump’s energy dominance strategy is paying off and local communities across America are the beneficiaries,” said Zinke. “Trump Administration policies like reforming and reducing regulatory burdens and broadening access to the nation’s oil, gas and coal resources, have made America the largest oil and gas producer in the world. For a second year, energy disbursements are up, this year by $1.82 billion, for a total of $8.93 billion that will be shared with states and Tribes. This critical source of funding will be used for educational and infrastructure improvements and land and water conservation projects, and to create good-paying American jobs.”

Often the second-highest generator of federal income following taxes, energy revenue disbursements are a critical source of funding to states, American Indian Tribes and individual Indian mineral owners, as well as to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Reclamation Fund, Historic Preservation Fund and the U.S. Treasury.

ONRR disbursed more than $1.78 billion of the FY 2018 energy revenues to 35 states as their cumulative share of revenues collected from oil, gas and mineral production on federal lands within their borders and from offshore oil and gas tracts in federal waters adjacent to their shores. The top states receiving FY 2018 revenues were:

  • New Mexico $634.9 million
  • Wyoming $563.9 million
  • Colorado $112.5 million
  • Louisiana $91 million
  • Utah $76 million

In addition to state disbursements, more than $1 billion was disbursed to American Indian tribes and individual Indian mineral owners; $1.22 billion to the Reclamation Fund; $893 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF); over $76 million from Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) revenues to the LWCF; $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund; and the remaining $3.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury. These disbursements included a substantial increase to funds going to the LWCF and U.S. Treasury from Phase II revenue sharing under GOMESA, which took effect in FY 2017. The GOMESA portion of the LWCF disbursement -- $76 million -- remains available until expended; the $893 million regular LWCF distribution for FY 2018 must be used within three years. The Gulf producing states and coastal political subdivisions will receive their disbursements of FY 2018 qualified revenues in FY 2019, as required by the legislation.

The revenues disbursed to the 32 federally recognized American Indian tribes and nearly 30,000 individual Indian mineral owners represent 100 percent of the revenues received for energy and mineral production activities on Indian lands. Most revenues are disbursed through the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians. Some Indian tribes have direct payment authorization from the Department of Interior and receive their energy and mineral revenues directly through an established lockbox deposit account. Tribes use these revenues to develop infrastructure, provide healthcare and education, and support other critical community development programs, such as senior centers, public safety projects, and youth initiatives.

The $8.93 billion disbursed in FY 2018 is $1.82 billion higher than the $7.11 billion the Department disbursed in FY 2017. The increase in disbursements is primarily attributed to higher oil prices and demand caused by an improved economy, expedited permitting, streamlined regulations, and the growth in exports.

All federal, non-renewable energy revenues are collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited and disbursed by ONRR from energy and mineral leases and other monies owed for the use of public resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf and onshore federal and American Indian lands. Since 1982, ONRR has disbursed more than $302 billion in mineral leasing revenues. ONRR makes most disbursements on a monthly basis from the royalties, rents and bonuses it collects from energy and mineral companies operating on federal lands and waters.

A complete list of states receiving revenues and FY 2018 disbursement data will be available on the Natural Resources Revenue Data portal located at https://revenuedata.doi.gov/.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 invests in projects that help strengthen communities, preserve American history and protect national endowments of lands and waters. The Reclamation Fund, which Congress established in 1902, funds the development of irrigation projects on arid and semiarid lands of the 17 western states. The Historic Preservation Fund provides matching grants to state and Tribal historic preservation offices to pay for surveys of historic resources, training, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and preservation grants to local jurisdictions.

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Methow Mineral Withdrawal Public Meeting - 10/25/18

Portland, Ore. – On November 13, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management, in coordination with the USDA Forest Service, will hold a public meeting to consider the withdrawal application submitted by the USDA Forest Service to the Department of the Interior.

The withdrawal notice was published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2016, for approximately 340,079 acres of National Forest System lands located in the Methow Valley, on the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Bureau of Land Management and USDA Forest Service staff will be on hand to answer questions and share information about the proposed mineral withdrawal. The public comment period is currently open and runs until November 13, 2018. A public meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on November 13, 2018, at the Red Barn, 51 North Highway 20, Winthrop, Washington.

The public may send written comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR 97208-2965, or by email at: lm_or_wa_withdrawals@blm.gov">blm_or_wa_withdrawals@blm.gov. Comments must be received by November 13, 2018.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comments, please be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifiable information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Copies of the Methow mineral withdrawal documents including the Environmental Assessment, are available on Bureau of Land Management’s ePlanning site: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do. 

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.