Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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News Releases
Interior to Host Press Call on the Endangered Species Act - 07/19/18

WASHINGTON - Today, at 12:00 PM EST, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as well as from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will host a news media telephone briefing regarding the Endangered Species Act. Credentialed members of the news media may RSVP for the call by emailing Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov to obtain the dial-in information.

WHAT: 

Telephone press briefing 

WHO:  

Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt
USFWS Assistant Director for Ecological Services Gary Frazer
Senior NOAA Officials

WHEN:

Today, July 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST

WHERE: 

RSVP to obtain dial-in information 

RSVP:

This call is only for members of the news media. Email Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov to obtain the dial-in information

CSNM Road and Area Closure
CSNM Road and Area Closure
Notice of Emergency Closure of Public Lands in Jackson County (Photo) - 07/13/18

Medford, Ore. –  The Bureau of Land Management, Medford District in cooperation with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District, is giving notice that public lands southeast of Ashland, Oregon, as described below are closed to all unauthorized entry, effective immediately and remaining in effect until the Klamathon Fire is declared controlled, or until such time as the BLM Medford District Manager determines public entry is safe.

This closure impacts the following areas: Emigrant Creek Road, Baldy Creek Road, Soda Mountain Road, Pilot Rock Road, the Lone Pilot Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 66 west to the boundary of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Additionally, all BLM lands and roads within Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument within the closure area marked on the map are closed.  Please see attached map.

This emergency closure is necessary to ensure public safety, land health, and resource integrity during firefighting activities. Potential fire activity and suppression activities preclude public access. The areas affected by this closure order will be posted with appropriate regulatory signs at main access and entry points.

BLM will post closure signs at main entry points to the area. You may obtain maps of the closure area and information from the Medford District Office.

BLM Medford District Office

3040 Biddle Road

Medford, OR 97504

Phone: 541-618-2200

E-mail: LM_OR_MD_Mail@blm.gov">BLM_OR_MD_Mail@blm.gov

Additional information about the current status of fires in Oregon/Washington is available at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center:  https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/

-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 $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016 - more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior.  These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.

Attached Media Files: CSNM Road and Area Closure
On May 29th Forest Service firefighters responded to a small hotspot from the Eagle Creek Fire near Herman Creek. Two engines and a ground crew from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area suppressed the flare-up. Heavy fuels and organic material kn
On May 29th Forest Service firefighters responded to a small hotspot from the Eagle Creek Fire near Herman Creek. Two engines and a ground crew from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area suppressed the flare-up. Heavy fuels and organic material kn
Western Oregon Fires Rekindling after Dry Winter and Spring (Photo) - 07/06/18

Portland, Ore. – July 6, 2018 – Some of last summer’s fires in western Oregon have shown light smoke or small hotspots recently after a dry spring and low snowpack this winter.

Hotspots are not uncommon in heavy fuels like logs and organic duff that can hold heat over winter and flare back up after a period of warm, dry weather. Most of the isolated hotspots are well within the interior of the burned area and pose no threat of the fire escaping containment.

Last month, a small hotspot flared up near Herman Creek on the Eagle Creek Fire.  Hotspots are among the known post-fire hazards that have caused area and trail closures to remain in place. Other hazards include fire-weakened trees and loose boulders that can fall on trails at unpredictable times, as well as ongoing rockslides and landslides.

The seasonal outlook suggests a hot, dry summer with elevated fire danger in Oregon and Washington. People are reminded to be vigilant with campfires and observe any local prohibitions due to fire hazards. As a reminder, fireworks are always illegal on federal public lands. Always check that a campfire is stone-cold out before leaving: If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

Visitors are encouraged to contact local offices or recreation sites to “know before you go” if any fire restrictions or closures are in place.

 

Comment period open for wild horse spay feasibility research - 07/02/18

HINES, OR – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Burns District announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for wild horse spay feasibility and behavioral research. The research will be conducted at Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility near Hines.

Wild horse herds on public lands can grow quickly, doubling in size in four years and tripling in six years if not managed. Since receiving Federal protection in 1971, the nationwide wild horse and burro population has soared to nearly 82,000 animals, more than three times the number that can survive long-term along with wildlife and other uses of the land.  In addition, there are no long-lasting fertility-control methods that can effectively control growth in most herds.

In partnership with Colorado State University and the U.S. Geological Survey, the BLM is proposing a research project to evaluate the feasibility of spaying some wild horse mares as a means to slow population growth.  The proposed procedure, ovariectomy via colpotomy, is a standard used for domestic horses and is generally considered less invasive than a typical spay procedure used for domestic cats and dogs. The procedure takes fewer than 15 minutes to complete and is more cost-effective than available short-term fertility control vaccines. The BLM intends to study the impacts to mares and the wild horse band behaviors once the treated animals are returned to the range.

Nationwide, the BLM is investing in a diverse portfolio of research projects to develop new, modern technologies and methods to improve management, slow the wild horse and burro population growth rates and reduce the need to remove animals from public lands. The studies are in response to a 2013 recommendation from the National Academy of Science to develop new or improve existing population grown suppression methods for wild horses and is in accordance with The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

“The BLM is proud to support research that will assist the BLM with managing the population dynamics within the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” said Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.  “This research, if proven successful, may provide a much needed tool to the BLM to more effectively manage healthy herds on public lands,” continued Steed.

A 30-day public comment period on the Draft EA closes on July 30, 2018. Comments can be mailed or faxed to the BLM Burns Office at the address below, or submitted by email to: blm_or_spaystudy_warmsprhma@blm.gov. Entire comments, including personal identifying information, may be published as part of the EA and Decision Record process.

Mail or deliver to:                                                                 Fax:

Mare Spay Research Project Lead                                        (541) 573-4411
BLM Burns District Office                                                       Attn: Mare Spay Research
28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738                    Project Lead

Copies of the Draft EA are available for review at the BLM Burns District Office during regular business hours, or online at https://eplanning.blm.gov.  To search for the EA on this site, you can either use the map to locate ‘Burns District, Oregon,’ or click on the ‘Text Search’ tab and filter by state (Oregon), document type (EA), year (2018) and program (Wild Horses and Burros).

For further information about Oregon’s spay feasibility project or to have your name added to the project mailing list, contact the Project Lead at (541) 573-4555.

-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 $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.

Local Communities to Receive Record $552.8 Million in PILT - 06/27/18

PILT Program Compensates Communities for Supporting Nation’s Public Lands, Waters; Invests in Firefighters, Police, School and Road Construction

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today that over 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $552.8 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2018. This is the largest amount ever allocated in the program’s 40-year history. This continues to underscore the Trump Administration’s commitment to local communities. A full list of funding by state and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.

“As a kid who grew up in northwest Montana and whose sons graduated from the same high school as I did, I know how important PILT payments are to local communities that have federal lands. These investments are one of the ways the federal government is fulfilling its role of being a good land manager and good neighbor to local communities,” said Secretary Zinke. “Rural America, especially states out west with large federal land holdings, play a big part in feeding and powering the nation and also in providing recreation opportunities, but because the lands are federal, the local governments don’t earn revenue from them. PILT investments often serve as critical support for local communities as they juggle planning and paying for basic services, such as public safety, fire-fighting, social services, and transportation.”

PILT payments are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. PILT payments help local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. The payments are made annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (all agencies of the Department of the Interior), the U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and for federal water projects and some military installations. PILT payments are one of the ways the federal government can fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities.

Using a formula provided by statute, the annual PILT payments to local governments are computed based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or jurisdiction and the population of that county or jurisdiction. 

Since PILT payments began in 1977, Interior has distributed approximately $8.5 billion dollars to states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Department collects more than $9.6 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands, such as oil and gas leasing, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. A portion of these revenues is shared with states and counties. The balance is deposited in the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including PILT funding.

Individual county payments may vary from year to year as a result of changes in acreage data, which is updated yearly by the federal agency administering the land; prior year Federal Revenue Sharing payments reported yearly by the Governor of each State; and population data, which is updated using information from the U.S. Census Bureau. Federal Revenue Sharing payments are made to local governments under programs other than PILT during the previous fiscal year, including payments such as those made under the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, the Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund, the National Forest Fund, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Power Act, and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, when authorized.