Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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Secretary Haaland Outlines Next Steps to Rebuild Bureau of Land Management - 09/17/21

Announces plans to restore national headquarters to Washington, D.C.; Western headquarters will be expanded

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today outlined steps that the Department plans to take to rebuild and strengthen the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) following years of transition and upheaval among the workforce. These changes, which will be done in coordination with Congress, will improve the function of the bureau, help provide clarity for the BLM’s more than 7,000 employees across the country, maintain and increase access for stakeholders, and enable the bureau to better serve the American public and fulfill its mission as the steward of nearly one-fifth of the nation’s public lands.

In a meeting with BLM employees today, Secretary Haaland announced her intention to restore the BLM national headquarters to Washington, D.C., ensuring the bureau has a presence in the nation’s capital. Under this plan, the BLM’s current presence in Grand Junction, Colo., will grow and expand as the bureau’s official Western headquarters. This office will reinforce western perspectives in decision-making and have an important role to play in the bureau’s clean energy, outdoor recreation, conservation, and scientific missions, among other important work as a leadership center in the West.

“The Bureau of Land Management is critical to the nation’s efforts to address the climate crisis, expand public access to our public lands, and preserve our nation’s shared outdoor heritage. It is imperative that the bureau have the appropriate structure and resources to serve the American public,” said Secretary Haaland. “There’s no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, D.C. – like all the other land management agencies – to ensure that it has access to the policy-, budget-, and decision-making levers to best carry out its mission. In addition, the BLM’s robust presence in Colorado and across the West will continue to grow.”

“The past several years have been incredibly disruptive to the organization, to our public servants, and to their families. As we move forward, my priority is to revitalize and rebuild the BLM so that it can meet the pressing challenges of our time, and to look out for our employees’ well-being,” added Secretary Haaland. “I look forward to continuing to work with Congress, Tribes, elected officials and the many stakeholders who care about the stewardship of our shared public lands and healthy communities."

The Department intends to locate the Bureau Director and other key leadership positions in the national headquarters where they can ensure coordination with Congress, other federal agencies, and stakeholders that visit Washington, D.C. Additional senior personnel will operate from the Western headquarters, as part of the more than 95 percent of BLM employees that are already located outside of Washington, D.C.

The Secretary’s vision for the BLM comes after substantive engagement with employees, Tribal consultations, and meetings with local, state, and federal leaders. The Secretary visited Grand Junction in July, and pledged to provide clarity and direction. Additional logistics and planning will occur in the months to come in close coordination with BLM employees, Congress, Tribes, and elected leaders.

The Department plans to take a number of additional steps, in coordination with leaders in Congress, to ensure that the BLM is best positioned to serve the American public. This includes establishing a new BLM Foundation – as authorized in legislation – to support the bureau’s efforts and to help build new partnerships. The BLM will strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes by supporting Tribal Liaisons in each state. The BLM will also seek to improve coordination and capacity to implement clean energy projects.

The previous administration relocated the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo., a move that failed to deliver promised jobs across the West and drove hundreds of people out of the agency. Of the 328 positions moved out of Washington, D.C., only 41 of the affected people relocated, with 3 moving to Grand Junction. This led to a significant loss of institutional memory and talent. The headquarters transition will be conducted with a goal of minimizing further disruption to employees and their families. Outside of the aforementioned core leadership positions, the BLM does not plan to require employees to relocate.

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U.S. Department of the Interior: The Department of the Interior (DOI) conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.

Bureau of Land Management: This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 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. 

 

 

 

Bureau of Land Management to Host National Public Lands Day Events - 09/10/21

PORTLAND, OR – On Saturday, September 25, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hosting numerous National Public Lands Day events across Oregon and Washington. For a complete list of events, visit https://www.neefusa.org/npld.

National Public Lands Day is the perfect hands-on opportunity to experience what the nation’s public lands have to offer. Everyone is welcome to help restore, beautify, and improve the outdoor spaces and recreation areas we all benefit from and enjoy.  

“National Public Lands Day is always filled with excitement,” said Barry Bushue, BLM Oregon-Washington State Director. “It’s the nation’s single-largest volunteer event for public lands with hundreds of thousands of volunteers participating in events across the country. We’re proud to support numerous events this year in Oregon and Washington. National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity for everyone to connect, or reconnect, with our nation’s outdoors.”

In Oregon and Washington, there will be a variety of projects, including planting trees and improving native vegetation, building trails, and removing trash. The tools, safety equipment, and materials needed for the projects will be provided by the BLM, and all events will be conducted in within applicable COVID safety protocols. Volunteers should come prepared with gloves, snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a mask, and sturdy closed-toe shoes/boots. Participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and a “Fee-Free Coupon” good for free admission to many federal recreation sites.

Find an event near you by going to https://www.neefusa.org/npld or by contacting your local BLM office. Please note that some events occur in October this year. 
 

Northwest Oregon Interagency Fire Prevention and Education Team members Mark Wiles (Team Leader), Frank Riley, Anthony English, and Susan Granbery.
Northwest Oregon Interagency Fire Prevention and Education Team members Mark Wiles (Team Leader), Frank Riley, Anthony English, and Susan Granbery.
Interagency Group Promotes Wildfire Prevention In Northwest Oregon (Photo) - 08/30/21

Salem, Oregon - Since many areas of the Pacific Northwest are experiencing high to very high fire danger predicted to extend throughout the summer and likely into the fall, Northwest Oregon Interagency Fire Management personnel are encouraging visitors to take precautions to prevent human-caused wildfires. Now through September 7, a multi-agency national Fire Prevention and Education Team, along with state and local agencies, will visit dispersed camp sites, historic sites, campgrounds and other public lands to assist with educating visitors about fire restrictions and how they can protect lives and property from wildfire. 

Human causes, such as abandoned and illegal campfires, sparks from equipment, and target shooting are responsible for most wildfires in Northwest Oregon. Of the wildfires reported by Northwest Oregon Interagency Fire Management this year, more than half were human-caused. "Dry fuel conditions within Northwest Oregon are well ahead of historical trends,” said Deputy Interagency Fire Staff Daniel Eddy. “Even as weather conditions might begin to feel like fall, it’s still very dry and resources continue to be stretched thin. We appreciate visitors continuing to help avoid preventable fires by following campfire restrictions until they are lifted.” 

“Everybody needs to be aware of the dangers of wildfire, while still enjoying the many recreational benefits that public lands provide,” said Prevention Education Team Leader Mark Wiles. “We want to empower visitors to recreate responsibly and educate them about fire prevention. Restrictions are in place for safety reasons, and there are consequences for ignoring them.”

There are numerous forest closures across the Cascades region and the Pacific Northwest. An interactive map showing all closures can be found at tinyurl.com/4j3fxy8y. Remember, don’t be the spark.

Bureau of Land Management Plans Emergency Wild Horse Gather at Palomino Buttes - 08/25/21

HINES, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Burns District announces plans to conduct an emergency helicopter gather of wild horses within a portion of the Palomino Buttes Herd Management Area (HMA) beginning August 30, 2021. An excessive horse population coupled with severe drought conditions has resulted in an inadequate supply of water and forage to sustain animal health through the remainder of the summer. Approximately 220 horses are planned for removal.

The Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 gives BLM the direction for protecting and overseeing wild horses and burros on public lands. In managing these animals, the BLM works to maintain a thriving ecological balance that supports healthy horses on healthy rangelands.

The Palomino Buttes HMA is located about 15 miles southwest of Burns, in Harney County, Oregon. The HMA is divided by fencing into the Weaver Lake and Palomino Buttes use areas. Currently, all but three water holes within the Palomino Buttes use area are dry. Of these three waterholes, it is anticipated that only one location has enough water to last through August. On July 1, 2021, BLM began hauling water to two of these diminishing waterholes to sustain animal health until an emergency gather was possible. An estimated 250 horses water at these three locations.

The Appropriate Management Level – the number of horses the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses – for the entire Palomino Buttes HMA area is 32 to 64 horses. The current population is approximately 427.

Animals gathered from the range will be transported to BLM’s Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Hines and prepared for adoption or sale into private care or long-term holding in Midwestern states.

The public is welcome to observe the gather. Details on viewing opportunities are available here: https://go.usa.gov/xF68q. Supporting National Environmental Policy Act documents for this gather are available on the BLM’s ePlanning web site at https://go.usa.gov/xFeAK.

The gather will likely last less than one week, though exact start and end dates will be determined by the contractor’s availability.

--BLM--

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 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.