Bureau of Land Management offices post News Releases to share news or let you know upcoming plans for their area. If you have questions regarding a specific News Release, contact information is at the top of each News Release. Please feel free to contact the Medford Office with your questions or comments, at (541) 618-2200 or by email.
The Bureau of Land Management, Medford District, Grants Pass Resource Area and Roseburg District, South River Resource Area are issuing a Temporary Emergency closure of public lands in Douglas County & Josephine County, Oregon. This closure affects public lands within the perimeter of the Douglas Complex fire, on lands administered by the BLM.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service announced that they will consider amendment of their land management plans to make provision for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP). The Notice of Intent to initiate the public scoping process for this effort was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2012.
- PCGP press release - September 2012 (PDF)
- PCGP Federal Register Notice of Intent - September 2012 (PDF)
- PCGP Information (PDF)
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website
BLM Initiates Planning Update for Western Oregon Forests
On March 9, 2012, the BLM announced it was beginning the process of revising Resource Management Plans (RMP) for 2.5 million acres of forested lands across six BLM Districts in western Oregon. The BLM is seeking public input on the issues and alternatives the new RMPs should address.
BLM State Director Ed Shepard stated: "The BLM welcomes new and innovative ideas that result from this scoping process. The planning process will recognize the importance of the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of natural resource management in western Oregon. Integrating public values and perspectives into the planning process is critical to finding a sustainable path forward."
Secretary Salazar Proposes Expansion of Ecological Forestry in Western Oregon and Update Resource Management Plans
During a visit on February 21 to one of three ecological forestry pilot projects in Oregon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will apply ecological forestry principles on a broader landscape to restore forest health and to provide sustainable timber harvests for local mills and the communities who rely on the timber industry for jobs and economic strengths.
Forestry Pilot Projects Report
Following up on the December 8, 2010 meeting in Washington, D.C. the BLM committed to immediately develop action plans for both the Roseburg Pilot Project and the Middle Applegate Watershed Pilot Project. Throughout 2011, the BLM, along with Drs. Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin, held a series of public meetings, workshops, and field trips to discuss the pilot projects and learn more about the principles of ecological forestry. In February 2012, the BLM released a report regarding the Drs. Johnson and Franklin's observations about the Forestry Pilot Projects.
BLM Distributes Final Payments to Counties
The BLM announced today that it has issued payment to 18 counties in western Oregon eligible under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act extension (Public Law 110-343). The amount paid to the Oregon & California (O&C) counties was $40,037,160.
- Official 2011 Payment to the Counties (PDF)
- Press Release: BLM Distributes Final Payments to Counties (PDF)
- County Payments Background
Soda Mountain Wilderness Plan Open for Public Comment
Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the public comment period for the draft Stewardship Plan and Environmental Assessment for the recently created Soda Mountain Wilderness Area in southern Oregon. The Soda Mountain Wilderness was created in March 2009 under the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-011). The law designated approximately 24,100 acres within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument as wilderness.
- Medford Planning
- National Landscape Conservation System
- National Landscape Conservation System YouTube video
Interior Conservation Awards to BLM-Led Partnerships
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar presented his "Partners in Conservation" Awards to a number of outstanding conservation partnerships at a ceremony on September 21, 2011. The awardees included four BLM-coordinated partnerships: Oregon's Jefferson Conservation Corps; the Gila Watershed Partnership of Arizona; New Mexico's Permian Basin Memorandum of Agreement Program; and the nationwide Project Archaeology program.
A video profile about the Jefferson Conservation Corps is available on YouTube at:
In addition, an article about the Jefferson Conservation Corps is available in winter 2010 issue of BLM's magazine, NW Passage:
Socioeconomic Impacts of the BLM
The BLM has the privilege of protecting and maintaining some of the Nation's most unique treasures. We manage over 15.7 million acres of public land in Oregon, and approximately 436,000 acres in Washington, together with some 23.4 million acres of federal subsurface minerals. The BLM lands provide for a variety of multiple uses throughout the Northwest, all of which contribute to the well-being of local communities through economic activities, social contributions, and land stewardship programs. Take a look around at these socio-economic contributions; we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- Contributing to Oregon's Economy (PDF)
- BLM - A Sound Investment for America (PDF)
- DOI's Economic Contributions (PDF)
- BLM and the Economy Op-Ed (PDF)
BLM Releases 2011 Secure Rural Schools Estimates
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Public Law 110-343) provided transition payments to the 18 western Oregon O&C counties through Fiscal Year 2010 and established another formula for calculating O&C county payments for Fiscal Year 2011. In developing the estimate for the Fiscal Year 2011 payment under the other formula, the BLM found an error in its preliminary calculations. The correct estimate was published in the President's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Justifications submitted to the Congress in March 2011. Because of the nature of the variables for calculating payments as established in the Secure Rural Schools Act, the final amount of O&C county payments for Fiscal Year 2011 cannot be determined until the end of Fiscal Year 2011—after September 30, 2011. The final payment amount is subject to review and audit before the payments are made to counties 6 to 8 weeks following the close of the Fiscal Year 2011.
- FY 2012 Payment Estimate to be Paid in 2011 (PDF)
- Secure Rural Schools Letter to the Oregon Congressional Delegation (PDF)
- President's FY 2012 Budget Justifications (Chapter 7, Page 13) (PDF)
BLM Restores Guidance for Managing Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued guidance to its field managers describing how the agency will use its land use planning process to enable local communities, States, Tribes, the public, and stakeholders to help determine how to manage public lands with wilderness characteristics.
The guidance will ensure public lands with wilderness characteristics are inventoried, described, and managed in accordance with Secretarial Order 3310, issued by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in December.
President Proposes $1.13 Billion for BLM in Fiscal Year 2012 To Protect Resources and Manage Uses of Public Lands
President Obama today requested $1.13 billion in appropriations for the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, a decrease of $12.0 million from the 2010 Enacted/2011 Continuing Resolution level. The budget makes strategic investments in support of Administration and Secretarial initiatives, and offsets funding increases for these priorities with $25.5 million in administrative and management savings, shifting $42.4 million in energy and minerals inspection costs to industry, and reducing lower-priority programs.
Under the President's proposed budget, the BLM will focus on a number of priorities, including: Renewable Energy; Cooperative Landscape Conservation, including Sage-grouse Habitat Management; Youth in the Great Outdoors; Abandoned Mine Lands and Hard Rock Mining Reform; Wild Horse and Burro Program; and the Secretary's Western Oregon Strategy.
- Department of the Interior 2012 Budget Press Release (PDF)
- BLM 2012 Budget Press Release (PDF)
- The BLM: A Sound Investment for America (PDF)
BLM Releases Decision for Vegetation Treatments
On October 1, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oregon State Office announced the release of a Record of Decision for the Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM Lands in Oregon. Weeds are currently spreading on BLM lands in Oregon at an estimated 12 percent per year, or 144,000 acres per year. This decision expands herbicide use beyond noxious weed treatments to include: the treatment of all invasive plants, the control of pests and diseases, and the control of native vegetation in rights-of-way and administrative sites, and recreation sites.
- Vegetation Treatments Press Release (PDF)
- Vegetation Treatments Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Final EIS and Record of Decision
BLM Releases Western Oregon Forest Management Report
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey today announced the findings of the interdisciplinary Western Oregon Task Force and an interagency approach for moving forward in the management of BLM-managed forests in western Oregon.
President Proposes $1.1 Billion for BLM in Fiscal Year 2011
With a focus on renewable energy development, climate change adaptation, and other key priorities, President Obama today requested $1.1 billion in appropriations for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management in Fiscal Year 2011. This represents an $8.0 million increase from the BLM's FY 2010 enacted funding level. The President's request reflects his continuing commitment to be prudent with taxpayer dollars while setting priorities for spending.
BLM Distributes Payments to Counties
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act was reauthorized as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 signed into law in October 2008 (Public Law 110-343). The reauthorized act provides declining payments to 18 westside Oregon Counties from Fiscal Year 2008 through 2011. Eligible counties in Oregon and several other “transition” States will receive declining payments from Fiscal Years 2008 to 2010 based upon their Fiscal Year 2006 payments. Then, in Fiscal Year 2011, counties will receive payments based on a new formula detailed in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Act included other changes, such as limiting how counties may spend their Title III project funds. The Oregon/Washington BLM made payments to each of the eligible western Oregon counties for Fiscal Year 2009 on November 25, 2009.
Secretary Salazar to Discuss Next Steps for Western Oregon Forest Management
On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar hosted a news media teleconference to discuss a schedule of timber sales on public lands in Western Oregon and initial steps for forest management in the area.
To provide additional certainty to local mills and local communities, the BLM released a list of about 60 proposed timber sales scheduled over the next 12 months. The program of work reflects an interim approach as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife continues to work on refinement of the northern spotted owl recovery plan via a number of technical workgroups.
- Western Oregon 2010 Program of Work
- Department of the Interior Launches Work Plan for BLM Western Oregon Forests
BLM Prepares for Upcoming Oil and Gas Lease Sale
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oregon State Office has announced that it will offer four parcels totaling approximately 5,342 acres, in Oregon, at its March 12, 2009 Oil and Gas Lease Competitive Sale. All four parcels to be offered are in Wheeler County near Mitchell, Oregon. The sale will be held at 9:00 AM, Thursday, March 12, at the Robert Duncan Plaza Building, 333 SW 1st Avenue, Portland, Oregon in the 3rd floor conference rooms.
BLM Announces Availability of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Plan
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the final plan for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The management plan sets forth the final direction for managing the 52,947 acres of BLM lands for the next ten years. The plan also provides the strategies needed to protect and preserve the biological, cultural, recreational, geological, educational and scientific values within the monument.
The 2000 Presidential Proclamation reserved the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in recognition of its remarkable ecology and to protect a diverse range of biological, geological, aquatic, archeological, and historic objects. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is the first monument set aside solely for the preservation of biodiversity. Due to several complex biological and geological factors and processes operating simultaneously, the monument contains an unusually high variety of species in a geographically small area.
Land use decisions made in this plan include: land tenure zoning classifications; designations of vegetation management areas; visual resource management classifications; programmatic and site-specific decisions related to livestock grazing; decisions regarding transportation and access (except those mandated by the presidential proclamation); wildland fire management; recreation management; and management of rights-of-way and communication sites.
Otak Reports on Little Hyatt Dam
BLM to Release Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Livestock Impacts Studies
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Medford District today announced that is has completed the studies of livestock impacts for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) and is releasing them to the public. A presentation of the results of the studies will be the subject of the February 1 "Science Friday" forum at the Southern Oregon University (SOU). The one hour presentation will begin at 3pm in Room 118 (Central Auditorium) in the Science Hall on the campus of SOU.
- CSNM Livestock Impact Study - Press Release (PDF)
- CSNM Livestock Impact Study - Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Reader’s Guide for the Livestock Impacts Study (PDF)
- Complete text of Livestock Impact Study >>>
- Livestock on the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument: A Summary of Stocking Rates, Utilization and Management (PDF)
- Patterns of Vegetation Change in Grasslands, Shrublands and Woodlands of Southwest Oregon (PDF)
- Recent (5 to 30 years) and Historic Changes in Plant Community Composition in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (PDF)
- Habitat and Landscape Distribution of Calochortus greenei S. Watson (Liliaceae) across the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (PDF)
- Vegetation Changes Associated with Livestock Exclusion from Riparian Areas on the Dead Indian Plateau of Southwest Oregon (PDF)
- Diet Overlap and Social Interactions among Cattle, Horses, Deer and Elk in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (PDF)
- Factors Controlling Patterns of Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) and Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (PDF)
- Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Spring Aquatic Invertebrates and their Relation to Environmental and Management Factors (PDF)
- Population Characteristics of Jenny Creek Suckers (Catostomus rimiculus): Age-Size Relationships, Age Distribution, Apparent Densities, and Management Implications (PDF)
- Appendix-Select riparian photo-pairs from the Dead Indian Plateau (PDF)
BLM Issues Temporary Off-Highway Vehicle Closure
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Medford District Office is temporarily closing several areas within the Timbered Mountain off-highway vehicle (OHV) area – also commonly referred to as the John's Peak area. The Timber Mountain OHV Area is located just west of the City of Jacksonville. The purpose of the emergency closure is to protect soils, water, and fisheries resources that are being adversely impacted by OHV use. The closure is also needed to protect public safety on Forest Creek County road. Regulations (43 CFR 8364.1) authorize the BLM to close or restrict use of public lands in order to protect public safety and resources on public lands.