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Wild horses at the BLM Corral in Burns, Oregon.  Photo: BLM Oregon/Washington.
Wild horses at the BLM Corral in Burns, Oregon. Photo: BLM Oregon/Washington.
National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to meet in Boise and Washington, D.C. (Photo) - 06/07/19

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet July 9-11 in Boise, Idaho, and October 29-31 in Washington, D.C. The Board will discuss the pressing challenges of wild horse and burro management, including the number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM facilities and the effects of overpopulation on public lands. 

Both meetings will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time July 10-11 and October 30-31 at www.blm.gov/live. The BLM will host a site visit for the Advisory Board to a local wild horse herd management area on July 9.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is comprised of individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as the agency carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to sustainably support them as part of BLM’s multiple-use mission.

As of March 1, 2019, the BLM estimated public rangelands were home to approximately 88,090 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states – the largest population estimate since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed – and more than three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other authorized land uses. At the same time, the BLM continues to care for approximately 50,000 unadopted and unsold animals in its off-range corrals and pastures, costing taxpayers $50 million annually – nearly two-thirds of the Wild Horse and Burro Program annual budget.

The agendas of the upcoming meetings can be found in the June 7, 2019 Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov. More detailed agendas and materials will be posted on the BLM website at BLM.gov/WHB prior to each meeting. The July meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Boise, located at 348 S. 13th Street, Boise, Idaho 83702. The October meeting will be held at thePhoenix Park Hotel located at 520 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 and at 20 F Street Conference Center located at 20 F Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20001.

The public may address the Advisory Board on July 11 and October 31. Individuals who wish to comment should register in person with the BLM at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the public comment period on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of comments, which has been set at three minutes per person during previous meetings.

 

Speakers should submit a written copy of their comment to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting. There will be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments will be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement at least two weeks prior to the start of each meeting to: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Advisory Board, 20 M St. SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, D.C., 20003. Comments may also be e-mailed two weeks before the meeting to the BLM at advisoryboard@blm.gov" target="_blank">whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.

For additional information regarding the meeting or to register to attend the July 9 HMA tour, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Acting Wild Horse and Burro Program Coordinator, at (202) 912-7654 or atoothe@blm.gov" target="_blank">dboothe@blm.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. Boothe during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Trump Administration Announces Strategy to Strengthen America's Economy, Defense - 06/05/19

Interior to Support Critical Minerals Strategy through Faster Permitting, Better Information, Nationwide Examination of Minerals Potential

WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump Administration released, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals,” to make America’s economy and defense more secure. The strategy directs the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to locate domestic supplies of those minerals, ensure access to information necessary for the study and production of minerals, and expedite permitting for minerals projects.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, today’s federal strategy lays out a blueprint for America to once again be a leader in the critical minerals sector,” said Secretary David Bernhardt. “As with our energy security, the Trump Administration is dedicated to ensuring that we are never held hostage to foreign powers for the natural resources critical to our national security and economic growth. The Department will work expeditiously to implement the President's strategy from streamlining the permitting process to locating domestic supplies of minerals.”

Currently, the U.S. relies on other countries completely for more than a dozen of minerals that are vital to our economy and security. These minerals are used for things like cell phones, computers, automobiles, airplanes, ships, and many other products that are critical to our economy and security.

In 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals. This Executive Order called on agencies across the federal government to develop a strategy to reduce the Nation’s susceptibility to critical mineral supply disruptions.

In May of 2018, DOI took the first step in the strategy, releasing a list of 35 minerals deemed critical to the U.S. economy and security, based on a methodology by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This list forms the foundation of the full strategy, which entails a number of other actions that the Department will take.

Faster Permitting
Mining remains the most important method for acquiring critical minerals, and Federal lands provide significant opportunities for mining. Prolonged Federal permitting and land management policies have inhibited access to and the development of domestic critical minerals, which has contributed to an increased reliance on foreign sources of minerals.

To reduce unnecessary permitting delays and increase access to critical minerals, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for onshore mineral rights and mining on lands managed by BLM, will undertake a comprehensive review of its permitting and land classifications, as well as its management plans. The BLM administers more than 245 million surface acres of public land and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate and is committed to implementing efficiencies for the environmentally responsible development of critical minerals on Federal lands. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will undertake a similar review for mineral permitting in the Federal Offshore and Exclusive Economic Zone.

Finding New Sources of Domestic Minerals
The U.S. is blessed with an abundance of mineral resources, but many of the easy-to-find deposits have been discovered. New deposits, both onshore and offshore, are increasingly located deeper underground and are more difficult to find. To find these new deposits of critical minerals, the USGS has embarked on a new nationwide program of surface and subsurface mapping – the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative – to better inform the country about its critical minerals potential. The BOEM has initiated a complementary effort to better evaluate the nation’s offshore mineral potential.

Mining is not the only way to secure critical minerals. Alternatives, such as recycling, processing mine waste, extraction from seawater, or even filtering them from energy byproducts, could prove valuable sources for critical minerals. USGS will assist other Federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and DOI bureaus like the BLM and BOEM, with evaluating these unconventional methods for bolstering the traditional supplies of critical minerals.

Better Information
Managing the supply of critical minerals depends on using the best information. Data on mining, processing, and transporting critical minerals are essential to strengthening domestic supply chains, and the USGS will continue to supply that data through a variety of authoritative scientific publications. Those data inform biennial re-evaluations of which minerals are critical to the United States.

In addition, the USGS will conduct at least one multi-commodity critical mineral resource assessment every two years, supplying the results to Federal land managers and the public. Meanwhile, BOEM will work with partners such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop a method for assessing critical mineral potential in the Federal Offshore and Exclusive Economic Zone.

About Interior
DOI is entrusted with the conservation and management of the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people and future generations, which includes more than 500 million acres of Federal lands and resources.

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Kim Faucher Watercolor
Kim Faucher Watercolor
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Artist in Residence Exhibition (Photo) - 05/31/19

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Medford District Office is pleased to announce an art show focused around the three 2018 Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) Artists in Residence.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Artists in Residence show will be on June 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Northwest Nature Shop in Ashland, Oregon:  154 Oak St, Ashland, OR 97520. This event is free and open to the public. The Cascade-Siskiyou Artists in Residence will include work from:

  • Kim Faucher, a Medford resident, who developed her appreciation of nature while growing up in Northern California. Faucher enjoys watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed media, and drawing, with experimentation as a constant. Kim was also the 2012 Artist in Resident at nearby Crater Lake National Park. 

 

  • Jeanine Moy, Director of the Vesper Meadow Education Program, who resides near the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and is a graduate of Southern Oregon University’s Masters in Environmental Education program. Her featured work will include a series of landscape oil paintings.

 

  • Dave Atkinson, who represents the confluence of two musical families and grew up surrounded by songwriters, singers, and guitar players.  Inspired by nature, Dave spends his days teaching science at a small public high school and playing music with his family in northern California.  Dave’s Band, Road West, draws from diverse musical influences, including: Jackson Browne, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Grisman, and Pink Floyd.

The Artists in Residence Program provides artistic and educational opportunities that promote deeper understanding and dialogue about the natural, cultural and historic resources on public lands. It also offers writers, composers and visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline amid inspiring landscapes.  Additional information about the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is available online at:   www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/national-monuments/oregon-washington/cascade-siskiyou

-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.

Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan Amendment Released - 05/31/19

VALE, Ore. – Today, the Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the Draft Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Draft RMP would amend the existing 2002 management plan, which allocates resources and provides long-term management goals and objectives for 4.6 million acres of lands and resources administered by the BLM within the planning area.

"Public input continues to be an important part of the Resource Management Plan Amendment process," said Theresa Hanley, BLM Acting State Director for Oregon/Washington. "In addition to opening a public comment period, the BLM will hold public meetings, which will be announced soon, to discuss the proposed Plan Amendment and alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS."

The proposed Plan Amendment and Draft EIS analyze a range of management alternatives addressing the following three issues:

  • Lands with wilderness characteristics;
  • Travel management for off-highway vehicle area designations (open, limited, closed); and
  • Range management related to voluntary grazing permit/lease relinquishment processes and meeting rangeland health standards.

As part of its commitment to healthy and productive landscapes, the Malheur Field Office is seeking public comments on these documents. Today’s publication of a Notice of Availability opens a 90-day public comment period ending on August 28, 2019. The Draft Southeastern Oregon RMP Amendment and Draft EIS and accompanying background documents are available on the Southeastern Oregon RMP web site: https://go.usa.gov/xnsQx.

The 4.6 million-acre planning area encompasses land administered by the BLM within Malheur, Grant, and Harney Counties. Much of the public land in the planning area is contiguous, with multiple scattered or isolated public land parcels.

To ensure comments are considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft Southeastern Oregon RMP Amendment and Draft EIS within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

The Vale District plans to hold public meetings regarding changes to current land use management, and answer questions. These meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance.

–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 honors outstanding volunteers at 'Making a Difference' awards ceremony - 05/21/19

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will honor some of their most dedicated volunteers this week at the agency’s 2019 Making a Difference National Volunteer Awards. Volunteers play a critical role in helping the BLM welcome millions of visitors annually to more than 245 million acres of public lands across the American West.

The annual awards, which recognize exceptional volunteer service on BLM-managed lands, will be presented during a special awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. EDT in Washington, D.C., and live via video teleconference on www.blm.gov/live

“It’s important to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by our dedicated volunteers,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “I’m continually humbled and inspired by the enthusiasm and hard work of these outstanding individuals as each of you have made a lasting impact on our public lands. Thank you on behalf of the places you safeguard for all Americans, and thank you on behalf of the people whose lives you’ve touched through your generosity.”

In 2018, over 30,000 volunteers contributed nearly one million hours of service, providing the equivalent of more than $24 million in labor and enabling BLM to help more Americans experience their public lands. These hard-working volunteers help monitor trails, manage wild horses, keep campers safe, and provide environmental education, interpretation, and other visitor services.

“The BLM has only about 9,000 employees to sustainably manage hundreds of millions of acres of public lands for a range of multiple uses. While our employees are exceptionally dedicated, the support they receive from our volunteers is essential to helping our agency achieve its mission for the American people,” said Casey Hammond, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, exercising the authority of the BLM Director. “It is a privilege to recognize these incredible people for their tireless efforts.”

The 2019 awardees and their BLM nominating offices are:

  • Tracy Greenwood, Lifetime Achievement, Mother Lode Field Office (CA), for consistent management of the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Merced River Recreation Area since 2000.
  • Walt & Kathy Horsfall, Lifetime Achievement, Safford Field Office (AZ), for their service to the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area, collecting data on hundreds of miles of roads around the Gila Box Riparian NCA.
  • Phil & Chriscinda Jamison, Lifetime Achievement, Northeastern States District (ES), for more than 15 years in support of the Wild Horse and Burro Program in the BLM Eastern States Office.
  • Thomas Parkinson & Peter Kearns, Outstanding Achievement, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument (AZ), for 400 hours of volunteer service in 2018, contributing to multiple programs on the Parashant.
  • Pedal United Chapter of IMBA, Group Excellence, Billings Field Office (MT), for helping to develop more than 28 miles of mountain bike trails and a trailhead facility over the last four years.
  • Blake Ramos-Manz, Sergio Ramos-Manz, & Dylan Brennan, Outstanding Achievement, Wild Rivers Recreation Area (NM), for helping to manage the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, including five campgrounds, 27 campsites, and over 36 miles of trail.
  • Roy Thornton, Outstanding Achievement, Cottonwood Field Office (ID), for his volunteer service at  the BLM's Cottonwood Field Office recreation sites and campgrounds over the last eight years

A national panel of BLM specialists and partner organization representatives selected the winners for their exceptional contributions to conservation and management of public lands. 

For more information, please contact Linda Schnee, BLM National Volunteer Program Lead, at (202) 912-7453 or lschnee@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. 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.