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BLM economic contributions increase in Fiscal Year 2018 - 10/18/19

New report highlights significant economic gains for America from public lands

WASHINGTON The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today an increase in the number of jobs supported through BLM activities in fiscal year 2018 as well as the total output for the American economy. Socioeconomic figures in a newly-released report highlight a 9% increase over Fiscal Year 2017.

The report, entitled “The BLM: A Sound Investment for America 2019,” was released today and can be found here. It indicates that in 2018, BLM activities on public lands supported approximately 471,000 full- and part-time jobs, up from 468,000 jobs in 2017.  Additionally, these activities resulted in $105 billion in total economic output, a sharp increase from $95.6 billion in 2017.

“The BLM remains committed to the sustainable development of America’s energy and natural resources,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond. “These numbers indicate that we are achieving those objectives, while increasing revenues to the United States Treasury and benefitting families across the nation.”

“America’s public lands are a key driver of the nation’s economy, particularly in states across the West. The jobs and communities these lands support are vital to millions of Americans, and the Bureau of Land Management is proud to make sure economic activities continue in a sustainable, environmentally-sound manner,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley.

A primary contributor to the economic uptick was the production of energy and natural resources on BLM-managed lands, many of which saw dramatic increases in 2018. In fiscal year 2018, the BLM offered nearly 13 million acres for leasing. Federal onshore oil production increased to 214.1 million barrels of oil during fiscal year 2018, compared to 174 million barrels in fiscal year 2017, due to the BLM’s implementation of energy priorities. New renewable energy projects were also initiated. Other areas, such as grazing and timber production experienced significant increases as well.

Outdoor recreation is also a significant source of jobs and revenue for local communities from public lands, generating more than $6.8 billion in total economic output in fiscal year 2018. Public lands managed by the BLM offer more recreational opportunities than lands managed by any other Federal agency, with over 99% available for recreation with no fee. In fiscal year 2018, BLM lands received nearly 68 million recreation-related visits.
 

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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. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals. 

BLM releases Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act Environmental Assessment - 10/11/19

Portland, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released today the environmental assessment for the reclassification of public domain lands as part of the implementation of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act (Act).

President Trump signed the Act into law on Jan. 8, 2018. It directed the BLM to transfer 14,708 acres of public lands to be held in trust for the benefit of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. Additionally, it directed the BLM to hold in trust 17,812 acres for the benefit of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

In addition to transferring these lands into trust for the Tribes, the Act also requires the BLM to identify and convert approximately 32,500 acres of public domain lands to be managed under the Oregon and California Lands (O&C lands) Act of 1937. Reclassifying these lands as O&C lands will allow 18 western Oregon counties to share in a portion of receipts from timber sales on these lands, which directly benefit local communities that depend on timber for jobs and economic development.

The Act requires that the public domain lands be reclassified, approximately equal in acreage and condition as the Oregon and California grant lands that were conveyed to and are now held in trust for the tribes. The reclassification of public domain lands to O&C lands will not change the management of the land, which is covered under the 2016 Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Resource Management Plan and the Southwestern Oregon Resource Management Plan.

Timber sales on public domain lands do not result in any direct payments to counties, whereas the Oregon and California Lands Act of 1937 provides that 50 percent of receipts from the sale of timber on O&C lands be allocated annually among the 18 western Oregon counties. The allocation formula is based on each county’s proportion of the 1915 assessed value of the O&C lands and will not be affected by this effort. This effort will examine which public domain lands will be reclassified under the Oregon and California Lands Act of 1937 to best meet the statutory intent of the Act.

The reclassified lands may be within any of the following Oregon and California grant land counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill Counties. The BLM will be accepting public

comments on the environmental assessment for 30 days. The comment period will close on Nov. 12, 2019. A copy of the environmental assessment and information about submitting comments is available at:

https://bit.ly/32YeWDD

An interactive map that details the location of the public domain lands that are being examined for reclassification, along with other planning materials, is available online at:

www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/serving-america/western-oregon-tribal-fairness-act

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.

-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.

BLM updates mineral cost recovery fee schedule - 10/09/19

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a final rule, effective October 1, 2019, which updates the cost recovery fees that the BLM charges for processing certain actions undertaken by its mineral programs. Specifically, this final rule updates the fees charged to recover costs incurred in processing certain documents associated with oil, gas, coal, and solid mineral activities on public lands, including fees associated with mineral patent adjudications. Consistent with updates to the fee schedules in prior years, this final rule increases the fee schedule based on inflation.

The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule. The fee schedule is adjusted annually based on the change in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product, or IPD-GDP, from the 4th Quarter of one calendar year to the 4th Quarter of the following calendar year. The IPD-GDP is published annually by the Department of Commerce.

Under this final rule, 24 fees will remain the same and 24 fees will increase. Of the 24 fees that are being increased by this rule, 13 will increase by $5 each, seven will increase by $10 each, two will increase by $15 each, and two will increase by more than $15 each. The fees increasing by more than $15 are the fee for adjudicating a mineral patent application containing more than 10 claims, which will increase by $75, from $3,215 to $3,290, and the fee for adjudicating a patent application containing 10 or fewer claims, which will increase by $40, from $1,605 to $1,645.

The updated fees are based on a common mathematical formula used by businesses nationwide to adjust their expenses. This fee update rule uses the change in the IPD-GDP from the 4th Quarter of 2017 to the 4th Quarter of 2018, which reflects the rate of inflation over four calendar quarters.

--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. 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.

BLM Announces Annual Adjustment to Drilling Permit Fee - 10/09/19

WASHINGTON ­– As directed by Congress, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will adjust the fee it charges to process oil and gas drilling permits on public and Indian lands for inflation, effective October 1, 2019. That adjustment will increase the fee by $180, to $10,230.

The non-refundable processing fee is collected when an oil and gas operator submits a drilling permit (called an Application for Permit to Drill or APD), and is required whether or not a particular permit is subsequently approved. Congress established the fee and directed the BLM to adjust the APD fee annually for inflation over 10 years as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015.

To carry out this statutory requirement, the BLM has issued guidance to its field offices regarding the collection and handling of APD fees in the current fiscal year. The new guidance largely tracks prior guidance with respect to collection and handling policies such as when the fee is required; when the BLM will begin processing the APD; and acceptable forms of payment.

This fee is an important component of the funding for the BLM’s permitting program and enhances the agency’s ability to coordinate with other Federal and State agencies in connection with oil and gas permitting, streamlining permit review processes, and reducing permitting times. Fifteen percent of the fees are directly returned to the BLM field office that collected the fees to offset some of the costs of processing protests, leases, and permits. The remaining 85 percent is used to support project offices that perform the majority of the permit processing and inspection work across the BLM. In Fiscal Year 2019, the BLM collected almost $51 million in APD fees.

-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. 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.

Medford BLM
Medford BLM
Medford Area Prescribed Fires Planned (Photo) - 10/08/19

Medford, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management has tentatively scheduled a series of prescribed fires throughout the Medford area.

Prescribed fire are planned fires that are commonly referred to as “controlled burn.” Prescribed fire is one of the most important tools used to reduce wildfire risk to communities, restore habitats, and to achieve land-management objectives. Fire management specialists consider objectives such as public and employee safety, weather, topography, fuels, size, the precise environmental conditions under which it will burn, and conditions under which it may be suppressed. 

When the environmental conditions allow for a prescribed burn, a "window" of opportunity is referred to as the burn window. The burn window depends on many variables including the resource objectives, current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, personnel and equipment availability to carry out the burn, and ability to monitor the burn. The most common burn windows occur outside of wildfire season in the spring and fall.

The upcoming fires in the Medford area will all potentially begin in mid-to-late October and burning operations will intermittently occur, as conditions permit, through spring of 2020. These upcoming prescribed fires include:

Butte Falls: Approximately 600 acres of hand piles within 15 miles of Butte Falls. 

Howard Prairie: Approximately 60 acres of hand piles and landing Piles.

Little Butte Creek/Heppsie: Approximately 30 acres of hand piles and landing piles.

Ruch/Upper Applegate: Approximately 100 acres of hand piles.

For information on the Bureau of Land Management’s fire and aviation program in Oregon/Washington, please visit: https://on.doi.gov/2VoXd5E

-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.

Attached Media Files: Medford BLM
BLM to celebrate National Public Lands Day Sept. 28 - 09/25/19

Bureau designates fee-free day at its recreation and visitor sites as part of annual event

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will celebrate the 26th annual National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28 with a wide range of volunteer opportunities as well as designation of a fee-free day at public lands sites around the country.

“National Public Lands Day is a time-honored tradition where we come together as a national community to celebrate and care for these lands that are entrusted to all of us,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “The BLM invites everyone to spend this special day enjoying the great outdoors and visiting their public lands.”

The wide variety of diverse landscapes across BLM-managed public lands offer visitors unique opportunities and memorable experiences as vast as the land itself. Visitors can explore more than 245 million acres of public lands and enjoy countless outdoor adventures, from hunting and fishing to camping, hiking and climbing. You can find more information about what’s available by visiting https://www.blm.gov/visit, or www.recreation.gov.  

In addition to waiving entrance fees at its recreation and visitor sites, the BLM, along with other participating federal land management agencies including the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Defense, will present coupons for an additional fee-free day to volunteers participating in National Public Lands Day projects.

On fee-free days, site-specific standard amenity and day-use fees are waived. Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use, and use of special areas, remain in effect. 

The BLM has long been a leading federal partner in encouraging volunteerism on National Public Lands Day. This year, more than 10,000 volunteers are anticipated at 388 BLM cleanup, maintenance, and beautification projects coordinated by over 90 field, district and state offices. Groups and individuals interested in volunteering can visit the BLM’s National Public Lands Day web page or contact their local BLM office for more details.

Organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands, bringing together hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help restore and maintain America’s public lands. For more information, visit the National Environmental Education Foundation web site at:

https://www.neefusa.org/npld

https://youtu.be/cWhcYUDlRrw 

BLM-specific questions can also be directed to Linda Schnee, BLM National Volunteer Program Lead, at lschnee@blm.gov or 202-912-7453.

--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.

 

BLM announces rangeland stewardship award winners for 2019 - 09/25/19

GREAT FALLS, MT. -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) presented its 2019 Rangeland Stewardship Awards today, which are given in recognition of an individual or group’s commitment to the stewardship of public rangelands and sagebrush steppes under BLM management. This year’s recipients include the Garfield County Conservation District in Montana, the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission and Weimer Ranches of Colorado.

“The BLM is proud to recognize our outstanding partners who have demonstrated their commitment to public lands stewardship,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. “They are working to ensure healthy public lands for the benefit of current and future generations.”

The awards included:

  • The Rangeland Stewardship Award was presented to the Garfield County Conservation District (GCCD), which has supported rangeland health in Garfield for the last 75 years.  Recently, they partnered with BLM on a Fire Mitigation Assistance Agreement, critical to protecting structures prior to the Lodgepole Fire of 2017.  The GCCD also provides critical support for noxious weed inventories and assisted with hay donations throughout the region following the devastating 2017 wildfire season.
     
  • The Sagebrush Steppe Stewardship Award was presented to the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, which helps students participate in rangeland education and public policy formation.  Their outreach efforts include The Care and Share Campaign, which promotes recreational activities involving interaction with livestock grazing, the Idaho Rangeland Outdoor Adventure Mobile, which provides classroom exhibits on rangeland ecology, and an educational video series entitled A Life on the Range.
     
  • The Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship Award was presented to Weimer Ranches near Nucla, Colorado.  The BLM recognized them for their cooperative efforts in ensuring the long-term success of the Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation following the Bull Draw Fire in 2018. 

The awards were presented by Brian St. George, BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning, at the annual fall meeting of the Public Lands Council, which represents more than 22,000 cattle and sheep producers who hold public lands grazing permits.  The council in active partnership with the BLM, the National Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local land management offices to provide food and other resources for the nation.

-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. 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.

Medford District Map
Medford District Map
BLM Medford District Fire Prevention Order Rescinded (Photo) - 09/19/19

Medford, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management, Medford District, will remove fire restrictions for the general public for all lands within the BLM Medford District, September 20, 2019, at 12:01 p.m. This order that is being rescinded went into effect earlier this summer to help prevent human caused wildfires.

The order specifically states “Pursuant to 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §9212.2 (a), the prohibitions listed in the Fire Prevention Order dated June 28, 2019 that were effective on July 1, 2019, and signed by Elizabeth Burghard, District Manager, are hereby rescinded. This removes all fire restrictions on lands administered by the BLM Medford District. This order shall go into effect at 12:01 p.m., PST, September 20, 2019.”

The official order is available online at: www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions

-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. 

Attached Media Files: Medford District Map