Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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BLM Releases Final Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act Decision - 01/17/20

Portland, Ore. – Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the Decision Record for the reclassification of public domain lands as part in one of the final steps of the implementation of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act.

The Act, signed into law by President Trump on January 8, 2018, 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, and 17,812 acres to be held in trust for the benefit of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. Of these conveyed lands, 31,132 acres were lands managed under the Oregon and California Lands (O&C lands) Act of 1937.

In addition to transferring these lands into trust for the Tribes, the Act also required the BLM to identify and convert public domain lands to replace the conveyed O&C lands. 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.

The selected alternative in the Decision Record ensures that BLM will meet the requirements of the law by converting lands of approximately equal acreage and condition. This will ensure that these converted lands have the potential to provide approximately equal timber receipt payments to O&C counties as the conveyed O&C lands would have.

The selected alternative will also reclassify plots to best match the condition of the conveyed O&C lands that were transferred to the tribes. This means that the selected alternative will also match the estimated average annual payments to O&C counties from timber sales on reclassified lands that the O&C counties would have received from timber sales on the conveyed tribal lands.

The reclassification of public domain lands to O&C lands does not change the management of the land, which is governed by the 2016 Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Resource Management Plan and the Southwestern Oregon Resource Management Plan. Additional information about the effort is available online at: https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/serving-america/western-oregon-tribal-fairness-act

-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 takes steps to improve administration of grazing regulations on public lands - 01/17/20

Public scoping meetings scheduled on proposals covering nearly 18,000 permits, leases on 155 million acres

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management has published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to consider proposed revisions to the agency’s grazing regulations. The BLM currently manages livestock grazing on 155 million of the 245 million acres of public land and administers nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases.

“Administration of sustainable livestock grazing on public lands is a key part of the Bureau of Land Management’s multiple-use mission. We continue to seek ways to improve and streamline the grazing permit process to achieve greater efficiencies and service to permittees,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management Casey B. Hammond. “This rulemaking effort is designed to strengthen and improve our administration of grazing permits across the West, and we welcome public and stakeholder ideas and perspectives.”

The proposed revisions will update, modernize and streamline the grazing regulations and provide greater flexibility for land and resource management. Through this rulemaking, the BLM seeks to improve existing land-use planning and grazing permitting procedures, while simultaneously promoting public lands conservation. The BLM hopes to improve its stewardship of the nation’s rangeland resources by strengthening controls to prevent unauthorized grazing, enhancing environmental protections across various non-grazing land-use programs, and improving public input opportunities.

The BLM is currently managing 11 demonstration projects in six states as part of our outcome-based grazing authorizations initiative. These demonstration projects provide BLM, working in partnership with ranchers and other partners, with opportunities to improve our guidance and best management practices to use when issuing grazing permits. Lessons learned from developing cooperative monitoring plans and land health evaluations under this initiative may also be incorporated into this regulatory process.

By publishing this Notice of Intent, the BLM is informing the public about the proposed revisions and how interested parties can comment. Public scoping meetings will be held in in February to further inform the public about this project. These meetings include:

  • Miles City, Montana: February 6, at the Sleep Inn and Suites, 1006 S. Haynes Ave., from 4:30-7:30 p.m.;
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: February 11 at the Las Palmas Grill, 201 East University Ave., from 4:30-7:30 p.m.;
  • Elko, Nevada: February 18 at the Elko Convention Center, 700 Moren Way, from 4:30-7:30 p.m.; and
  • Casper, Wyoming: February 20, at the Casper Events Center, 1 Events Dr., from 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Comments on the proposed regulation revisions may be submitted in writing until Feb. 28, 2020. Meeting information, announcements, instructions on how to provide comments, and pertinent documents can be found at the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/xyMqb.

For more information, contact Seth Flanigan, BLM Project Manager, at 208-384-3450 or sflanigan@blm.gov.

-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 Upcoming Fee-Free Days on Public Lands in 2020 - 01/16/20

WASHINGTON – To encourage visitation and appreciation for America’s public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will waive recreation-related visitor’s fees during five 2020 Fee-Free Days. On these five days, recreation-related fees for all visitors to agency-managed public lands across the nation will be waived.

“One of the greatest assets we have in this country is our public lands,” says Deputy Director of Policy and Programs for the BLM, William Perry Pendley, exercising the authority of the BLM Director. “With our fee-free days, we hope that Americans will get outside to enjoy these national treasures – the 245 million acres of public lands across our nation, most of which are in the West and Alaska.”   

The Fee-Free Days for 2020 are: January 20 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), February 17 (President’s Day),   June 13 (National Get Outdoors Day), September 26 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

BLM-managed public lands offer a wide array of recreational opportunities, including hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, whitewater rafting, off-highway vehicle driving, rock climbing, and more. Americans make approximately 67 million visits annually to BLM-managed lands, supporting approximately 48,000 jobs nationwide and contributing almost $7 billion to the U.S. economy.

On fee-free days, site-specific standard amenity and day-use fees at BLM recreation sites and areas will be waived for the specified dates. Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use, and use of special areas, will remain in effect.

For more information on recreation opportunities on BLM-managed public lands, visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation or www.recreation.gov

BLM Announces National Call for Nominations to Site-specific Advisory Councils - 01/13/20

Citizen-based councils play critical role in developing solutions to public land management issues

 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is seeking public nominations for three citizens’ advisory councils affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. These citizen-based councils assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues.

 

The three Councils, which are formally chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Federal Policy and Land Management Act (FLPMA), provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the development and implementation of management plans in accordance with the statutes under which the sites were established.

 

The three Advisory Councils include the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Advisory Committee located in Utah, the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee located in Washington, and the Steens Mountain Advisory Council located in Oregon.

 

“The Steens Mountain Advisory Committee and the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee are important forums for the community conversation that is a key component of public land management,” said BLM Acting State Director Jose L. Linares. “By ensuring that representation reflects a variety of perspectives, members provide a valuable service to the Bureau by delving into matters and proposing solutions on a wide variety of land and resource issues.”

 

The Councils have successfully demonstrated that consensus-driven recommendations often lead to sustainable outcomes that benefit long-term public land planning and management of National Conservation Land sites.  This inclusive approach is proven successful and often enjoys a high level of public support. These Councils consist of 10 to 15 members that represent unique site-specific interests as defined in the Federal Register Notice Supplementary Information. 

 

Individuals may nominate themselves or others to serve on a Council. Nominees, who must be residents of the state where the Council has jurisdiction, will be reviewed based on their training, education, and knowledge of the specific geographic area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. Nominations and completed applications should be sent to the appropriate BLM office. All nominations from represented interests or organizations must include a completed application, letters of reference, and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.

 

As published in a notice in Friday’s Federal Register, the BLM will consider nominations for 45 days (until February 24, 2020).  Requests for more information, nominations and completed applications for RACs should be sent to the appropriate BLM personnel listed below:

 

San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee:

Jeff Clark, BLM Spokane District Office, 1103 North Fancher Road, Spokane, WA 99212, 509-536-1297.

 

Steens Mountain Advisory Council

Tara Thissell, BLM Burns District Office, 28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, OR  97738, 541-573-4519.

 

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 Seeks Nominations to Resource Advisory Committees - 01/13/20

Bureau seeks broad spectrum of nominees to help improve public land management nationwide

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is seeking public nominations for positions on 27 Resource Advisory Committees (RACs) nationwide. These citizen-based committees assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues.

The BLM maintains 37 such advisory committees formally chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Federal Policy and Land Management Act (FLPMA) across the West. Of those committees, 31 are RACs and the remainder are site or subject-specific Advisory Councils. Each RAC consists of 10 to 15 members from diverse interests in local communities, and they assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues.

“Resource Advisory Committees provide the BLM with vital feedback on current issues, concerns and proposals, and enable us to engage local communities and stakeholders to improve our management of public lands,” said BLM Acting State Director Jose L. Linares. “Our goal is to ensure that the membership of every RAC encompasses a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds to guide our work as effectively as possible.”

The BLM maintains chartered advisory committees as a means of gaining expert advice, ideas, and diverse opinions on issues including land use planning, fire management, off-highway vehicle use, recreation, oil and gas exploration, noxious weed management, grazing issues, and wild horse and burro herd management issues. The committees support the Bureau's commitment to building a shared conservation stewardship legacy in the communities it serves.   

Individuals may nominate themselves or others to serve on a RAC. Nominees, who must be residents of the state or states where the RAC has jurisdiction, will be reviewed based on their training, education, and knowledge of the RAC’s geographic area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. Letters of reference must accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations, a completed RAC application, and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.

Each of the 27 RACs has different positions open in the following categories:

  • Category One – Representatives of organizations associated with energy/mineral development; federal grazing permit holders; the timber industry; transportation or rights-of-way; off-highway vehicles users; and commercial and developed outdoor recreation.
  • Category Two – Representatives of archeological and historic organizations; dispersed recreation users; wild horse and burros organizations; and nationally or regionally-recognized environmental organizations. 
  • Category Three – Representatives of state, county, or local elected office; Indian tribes located within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized; academicians employed in natural resource management or natural sciences; employees of a state agency responsible for management of natural resources; and the public at large.

As published in a notice in Friday’s Federal Register, the BLM will consider nominations for 45 days (until February 24, 2020).  Requests for more information, nominations and completed applications for RACs should be sent to the appropriate BLM personnel listed below:

Coastal Oregon RAC:

Megan Harper, BLM Coos Bay District Office, 1300 Airport Lane, North Bend, OR 97459, 541-751-4353.

 

Eastern Washington RAC:

Jeff Clark, BLM Spokane District Office, 1103 North Fancher Road, Spokane, WA 99212, 509-536-1297.

 

John Day-Snake RAC:

Larisa Bogardus, BLM Vale District Office, 3100 H Street, Baker City, OR 97814, 541-523-1407.

 

Northwest Oregon RAC:

Jennifer Velez, BLM Northwest Oregon District Office, 1717 Fabry Road SE, Salem, OR 97306, 541-222-9241.

 

Southeast Oregon RAC:

Lisa McNee, BLM Lakeview District Office, 1301 South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630, 541-947-6811.

 

Southwest Oregon RAC

Christina Beslin, BLM Medford District Office, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford, OR 97504, 541-618-2371.

 

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 Firefighters Deployed to Australia - 01/06/20

Portland, Ore. – The BLM in Oregon/Washington announced today that it has deployed four firefighters to assist Australia with the prolific wildfires spread throughout the country. These firefighters include staff from the BLM Vale, Prineville, and Burns Districts that have accompanied 13 other interagency Pacific Northwest firefighters also assisting Australia.

The BLM firefighters from Oregon/Washington being deployed to Australia include expertise in air tactical support, wildland fire incident management, and firefighter crew leadership.

Fires that started to burn in August have continued uninterrupted with large areas of both New South Wales and Queensland burned, multiple property losses, and, sadly, fatalities. Fire conditions continue to challenge in New South Wales and Queensland, while new fires are causing concern further south in Victoria. Fire conditions in Australia are extreme due to an extended drought, hot temperatures, and relative humidity in the single digits.

The last fire assistance between the two countries was in August 2018 when 138 Australian and New Zealand wildfire management personnel were sent to the U.S. for almost 30 days to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The Australian and New Zealand personnel filled critical needs during the peak of the western fire season for mid-level fireline management, heavy equipment, helicopter operations, and structure protection.

The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group is working with the National Interagency Coordination Center to mobilize resources and distribute the request across interagency partners. The last time the U.S sent firefighters to Australia was in 2010.

In the Pacific Northwest, the fire program is managed cooperatively between the two agencies and in close collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group, an interagency group including the five federal wildland fire agencies, two state forestry agencies, and two state fire marshal associations. The interagency jurisdiction covers both Oregon and Washington and includes nine BLM districts, 19 National Forests, and the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. By working cooperatively, the agencies administer fire, fuels and aviation programs in a manner that eliminates duplication, increases program efficiency, and capitalizes on the expertise of each agency's personnel.

Additional information about wildland firefighting in the Pacific Northwest is available online at:

www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington

-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.