Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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BLM temporarily closes developed recreation facilities in Oregon - 03/27/20

Despite facility closures, millions of acres of BLM-managed public lands across Oregon remain open to enjoy, as long as you do so responsibly

Portland, Oregon – The health and safety of our visitors and staff remains the number one priority of the Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Oregon public health officials, the BLM will temporarily close many of its developed recreation facilities to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

This closure includes all campgrounds, and some day use sites, and restrooms. Trash pickup and sanitation services on most of these recreation facilities will also be temporarily suspended.

Despite the closure of these facilities, multiple opportunities remain for the public to enjoy the outdoors as long as visitors heed orders, guidance, and advice of local and state officials and the Centers for Disease Control. BLM-managed trails and open spaces remain open across Oregon.

“Local, state or federal, we’re all in this together. The BLM is doing what we can as part of the whole of America response to the coronavirus,” said Jose Linares, acting State Director BLM OR/WA. “Although we have vast open spaces we continue to want people to use, we can’t stress enough that everyone listen to local officials and practice safe social distancing.”

Visitors may continue to enjoy their BLM managed trails and open spaces in Oregon while following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Local and State public health authorities. Social distancing recommendations are extremely important to reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and may require that visitors avoid public lands during high-use times, such as weekends. Please limit any group activities to members of your household, and keep your total party to 10 or fewer participants. At all times, maintain a distance of six feet or more from other people.

 

The BLM encourages responsible, local recreation to avoid putting strain on other communities. To ensure public lands and waters remain intact for future generations, visitors are encouraged to utilize Leave No Trace practices, such as picking up all trash and human waste, while services at recreational facilities are suspended. Please bring your own sanitary products, including toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and pack out all trash.

Providing for recreation opportunities during this time is just one of the many activities BLM Oregon/Washington staff continues to perform each and every day remain because they are vitally important to the nation and our neighbors. Our work continues to support the nation’s energy and food security. We provide for sustainable timber harvests and provide protection from wildland fire. We are stewards of amazing landscapes and provide for enjoyment of all types of outdoor recreation.

If you’d like to do business with the BLM, please do so by email or phone whenever possible.  If you need to come into one of our offices, please contact us first so we can arrange an appointment to help you during normal business hours. Contact information is available on our website at www.blm.gov/oregon-washington.

Information on the affected BLM Oregon-Washington facilities will be posted on https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/covid-access-restrictions. Please check with individual field and district offices and visitor centers for specific details on operations in your area.

  • Burns District: 541-573-4400
  • Coos Bay District: 541-756-0100
  • Lakeview District: 541-947-2177
  • Medford District: 541-618-2200
  • Northwest Oregon District: 503-375-5646
  • Prineville District: 541-416-6700
  • Roseburg District: 541-440-4930
  • Vale District: 541-473-3144

These closures are pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 43 CFR § 8364.1, 43 CFR § 9268.3(d)(1), and 43 CFR § 8365.1-4.

– 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. 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.

Bureau of Land Management Releases Draft Public Land Access Priorities - 03/12/20

Agency will use final list to identify and resolve public recreational access issues on priority parcels as part of nationwide Dingell Act implementation efforts

Washington, D.C. – As part of its efforts to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the Bureau of Land Management today released a draft list of public lands with limited or restricted public access for hunting, fishing or other outdoor recreational opportunities, along with a draft map of priority access nominations received from the public and partners. When finalized, this priority list will guide the BLM’s efforts to resolve access issues and expand public recreation opportunities on these parcels of land across the West.

“When President Donald Trump signed this bipartisan bill into law, he furthered his indelible legacy of balancing natural resources conservation and responsibly expanding recreation opportunities on our public lands,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “I am proud that the Department of the Interior and its bureaus have worked exhaustively this past year to meet our goals for implementing this historic public lands law for the American people.”

“We are committed to expanding access to public lands, and augmenting opportunities for all Americans to hunt, fish and otherwise enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities on the more than 245 million acres of land we manage nationwide on their behalf,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “We know, though, that especially in the West, the checkerboard of interwoven federal, state and private lands often makes access to prime parcels of public land difficult. That’s why we’re grateful for the strong support and insight provided by the public and our partners to help us identify priority lands where we can resolve access issues with willing landowners using all the tools in our tool box - including land exchanges, direct purchases, easements and external donations.”

The BLM has identified 606 priority geographic areas, in 11 western states, representing approximately 4.7 million acres of public lands in need of some type of public access improvement. During the 30-day public comment and nomination period, which closed on Feb. 29, 2020, the BLM received more than 1,900 additional priority access nominations from the public, state agencies and non-governmental organizations.

This effort advances a primary goal of the Dingell Act (S. 47), which was signed into law by President Trump in March 2019. Section 4105 of the Act directs the BLM to develop a priority list, which identifies the location and acreage of BLM-managed parcels 640 acres or larger open to hunting, fishing, or other recreational purposes, and which have no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted. It also aligns with Secretary's Order 3356, which directs the BLM and other Department of the Interior Bureaus to identify ways to expand access for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation on agency-managed lands. 

The BLM will spend the next several months reviewing nominations for accuracy to ensure they meet all Dingell Act criteria for inclusion in the final lists and maps to be published later this fall. The draft public lands access priorities will be available for viewing beginning March 12, 2020 by accessing the Dingell Act Public Access ePlanning Page.

BLM requested assistance from the public in nominating parcels of lands managed by the agency that are greater than 640 acres, on which the public is allowed to hunt, fish, or use the land for other recreational purposes, but to which there is no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted. 

The BLM is working to implement Dingell Act tasks assigned in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Montana/Dakotas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon/Washington, and the Eastern States Office (Louisiana and Minnesota).  Implementing the Dingell Act is a top priority for Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt.  Implementing the Dingell Act will continue the Department of the Interior’s work to strike proper balance for land and resources management, increase access for hunting, fishing, and recreation, and create economic prosperity while protecting and preserving America’s treasures.  

To learn more about the Dingell Act and how it affects your public lands, please visit https://www.blm.gov/about/laws-and-regulations/dingell-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. 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 proposes expedited review of pinyon-juniper restoration projects - 03/09/20

Proposal would allow agency to address threat posed to sage-grouse, mule deer and other native species from encroachment of juniper-pinyon woodlands on sagebrush habitat across the West 

The Bureau of Land Management today announced a proposal to expedite review and approval of restoration projects across the West designed to address the rapid spread of pinyon-juniper woodlands on sagebrush habitat for the benefit of greater sage-grouse, mule deer and other sagebrush-dependent native wildlife and plant species. The proposal would establish a new categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, enabling the agency to streamline review of projects that remove encroaching pinyon-juniper trees to allow for sagebrush restoration. 

 

“Improving sagebrush ecosystems by removing?Pinyon-juniper?woodland?is an established and well-studied practice.?If finalized, this proposed categorical exclusion would eliminate needless?analysis, so we can more quickly?protect and restore sagebrush habitat?and reduce?the threat of wildfires for the benefit of mule deer, sage-grouse and hundreds of other native species,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.  

 

“Pinyon-juniper encroachment is a serious threat to millions of acres of sagebrush habitat. This proposal will allow us to keep the problem from growing worse, and to accelerate habitat restoration projects that increase the health and resilience of the landscape for iconic species,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.  

 

“Time is of the essence when it comes to the spread of invasive species on sagebrush habitat. Wyoming?recognizes the threat that juniper spread has particularly on sage-grouse habitats, which is why I built a directive into Appendix C of Executive Order 2019-3 Core Area Protection Strategy to encourage habitat treatments that are designed to improve sage-grouse habitats, such as juniper removal. Expedited review?and approval for juniper treatments is an important means to get these projects on the ground,” said Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.   

“The Mule Deer Foundation thanks Secretary Bernhardt and the staff and leadership of the Bureau of Land Management for finalizing this draft categorical exclusion that, once finalized, will result in the restoration and creation of hundreds of thousands of acres of habitat for sage-grouse, mule deer, antelope and other sage dependent species,” said Mule Deer Foundation President and CEO Miles Moretti. “This issue has been a top priority for our organization because it will allow MDF and our conservation partners to move quickly on habitat restoration projects absent unnecessary and redundant red-tape. Quality habitat leads to quality hunting and we know our members and other western big game hunters will benefit from the on-the-ground improvements that will result from this policy.” 

 

“The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) applauds the Department of the Interior for moving forward to further advance the directives provided through Secretary’s Order 3356,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “This proposed rule is critical to enhancing habitat for mule deer, sage-grouse, and other sage dependent species by allowing our nation's wildlife managers and conservation partners to conduct restoration and conservation efforts in a timely manner. We are grateful for the continued commitment from the Department to advance sound conservation practices.”  

 

“Habitat management for species like mule deer and sage grouse requires effective and strategically-located treatment projects,” said Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We appreciate the Department taking action on this important issue and look forward to working with them to conserve these species and the sagebrush ecosystem.” 

 

“This announcement is about two of the most important things needed for habitat today,” said James L. Cummins, Boone and Crockett Club Policy Committee co-chairman.?“It's about active restoration of habitat, and sensible streamlining of paperwork in approving projects.? Range managers know how to restore sage habitats.? They have analyzed it many times.? Now they will be able to do more projects.” 

 

“Restoration of habitat is an urgent priority,” said Keith Balfourd, Director of Communications, Wild Sheep Foundation.?“Big game habitats across the West would benefit from this approach to expediting the approvals of projects.? It is a welcome complement to the Department's emphasis on improving habitats.” 

 

“For decades, counties have been victimized by catastrophic wildfires that were exacerbated due to ineffective federal land management. Pinyon-juniper now occupy more than 74 million acres in the West and are a significant contributor to this problem. Providing targeted treatments while reducing bureaucratic red-tape will yield important benefits. This proposal will also result in significant habitat restoration for the greater sage-grouse, mule deer and other sagebrush-dependent wildlife. I applaud Secretary Bernhardt for his leadership and for taking action to address a critical issue plaguing rural communities,” said former Western Governors’ Association’s Sage Grouse Task Force Co-Chair and Current Colorado Counties Inc., Executive Director John Swartout
 
“Beaver County commends Secretary Bernhardt and Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley for taking action to reduce pinyon-juniper encroachment. The spread of these trees is the biggest threat to the sagebrush ecosystem which sage-grouse, mule deer and other species rely on,” said Tammy Pearson, Commissioner, Beaver County, Utah. “Pinyon-juniper increase fuel loads and often contribute to large crown fires that cause significant harm to watersheds and local communities. Having this option in the toolbox will expedite habitat restoration for big game while also allowing important vegetative management projects to move forward expeditiously.” 

 

“Club 20 applauds Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Acting BLM Director Perry Pendley for taking action to expedite the process for addressing the spread of pinyon-juniper woodlands in sagebrush habitat. Sagebrush restoration is critical to preserving habitat for greater sage-grouse and mule deer, two species that are extremely important to Western Colorado. This level of commonsense management is long overdue and is a welcome change in our region,” said Christian Reece, Executive Director, Club 20
 

“Clearing pinyon-juniper has been one of the most effective ways to restore sagebrush habitat and protect sage-grouse. The State of Utah's habitat restoration plan has been especially effective, and it's widely recognized that halting pinyon-juniper encroachment is effective conservation. It only makes sense to categorically exclude projects where the environmental benefit has been proven,” said Kathleen Sgamma, President, Western?Energy Alliance

“This is a giant step forward for stewards of natural resources,” said Caren Cowan, Executive Director, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. “The West has long suffered the calamity associated with a dysfunctional NEPA process. The eventual issuance of this new CX as well as the new NEPA regulations that are in process will enhance conservation of land, water and animals. This is also another step toward providing security for the millions of family ranches and farms across the West.” 

 

Today’s announcement opens a public comment period that closes 30 days from the date the proposed categorical exclusion is published in the Federal Register. The proposed changes and the new proposed Categorical Exclusion (CX) Verification Report can be reviewed online at: https://tinyurl.com/w8t4jx2. Comments can be submitted using the BLM National NEPA Register at https://tinyurl.com/w8t4jx2. Follow the instruction at this website. 

 

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to consider the potential environmental consequences of their decisions before deciding whether and how to proceed. The appropriate use of CXs allows NEPA compliance, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances that merit further consideration, to be concluded without preparing either an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS). 

 

Scientists estimate that pinyon and juniper woodlands occupied less than 7 million acres prior to settlement of the West in the 1870s. They now occupy over 74 million acres across the West, a 10-fold increase attributed to many factors including fire suppression, grazing, land clearing, and climate change. Pinyon-juniper species can be aggressive invaders into more productive shrub-steppe communities that historically occupied deeper soils than the pinyon-juniper woodlands – in particular sage-steppe habitat. As of 2016, sagebrush ecosystems in the U.S. occupied only about one-half of their historical distribution. 

 

The proposed pinon-juniper CX aligns with Secretary’s Order 3356, Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, and Wildlife Conservation Opportunities and Coordination with States, Tribes and Territories, which directs the BLM to develop a proposed CX for “proposed projects that utilize common practiced solely intended to enhance and restore habitat for species such as sage-grouse and/or mule deer” (section d(5)). 

 

The proposed CX is also part of a larger national wildfire reduction strategy guided by President Trump’s?Executive Order 13855?–?Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk, as well as?Secretary’s Order 3372?–?Reducing Wildfire Risks on Department of the Interior Land through Active Management. 

 

The two orders direct Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture agencies to implement policies to improve forest and rangeland management practices by reducing hazardous fuel loads, mitigating fire risk and ensuring the safety and stability of local communities through active management on forests and rangelands. 

 

Actions covered by the proposed CX include: manual or mechanical cutting; mastication and mulching; yarding and piling of cut trees; pile burning; seeding or manual planting of seedlings of native species; and removal of cut trees for commercial products, such as sawlogs, specialty products, or fuelwood, or non-commercial uses. The proposal does not cover cutting of old-growth trees; seeding or planting of non-native species; chaining; pesticide or herbicide application; broadcast burning; jackpot burning; construction of new temporary or permanent roads; or construction of other new permanent infrastructure. 

-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. 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. 

Jeanine Moy Landscape Painting Pilot Rock
Jeanine Moy Landscape Painting Pilot Rock
Artist-in-Residence Program: Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Seeking 2020 Applications (Photo) - 03/05/20

Medford, Ore. – Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) is now accepting applications for its summer Artist-in-Residence program. Selected artists are provided with a beautiful environment in which to generate artistic works and share their works with the public. This is a particularly unique year for artists to participate in the program, as 2020 marks the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the CSNM’s designation as a National Monument.

Artistic expertise, professionalism, and creative uses of artistic media are encouraged. Selected artists receive a one to two-week residency at CSNM facilities during the summer. Three artists and two alternates will be selected to participate June, July and August 2020. All artists are encouraged to apply for a chance to participate in the program, and there is no preference given to any one particular style or medium. Selections are made based on the following criteria: entry materials, residency proposal, professionalism, and creative vision.

During their stay, artists share their vision in one public presentation. Following their residency, artists donate at least one digital image of their completed artwork to CSNM. CSNM holds a publishing copyright to donated digital imagery for promotional use to advance the residency program. The artist retains a non-exclusive use copyright.

Interested visual artists may obtain more information and download an application and guidelines by accessing the Cascade-Skiskiyou Artist-in-Residence website, by e-mail (amer@usda.gov" target="_blank">chamise.kramer@usda.gov) or by calling (541) 618-2051. Detailed instructions are on the entry form. Applications must be postmarked by April 3, 2020.

Those wishing to learn more about the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument information can do so on the CSNM website.

Those wishing to learn more about the Artist in Residence Program can do so at the Artist-in-Residence website.

-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.