The Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 5.1 million acres of public land in eastern Oregon. The district boundary runs along the Snake River between Oregon and Idaho and includes small sections of both Washington and Nevada.
The district includes three resource areas: Baker, Malheur, and Jordan. The Baker Field Office is located in Baker City and includes approximately a 1/2 million acres spanning eight counties. The southern half of the district is covered by the Malheur and Jordan Resource areas, which both operate out of the district's headquarters in Vale, Oregon.
The United States Congress designated the Hells Canyon Wilderness in 1975 and it now has a total of 217,927 acres. Idaho contains approximately 83,811 acres. It is primarily managed by the U.S. Forest Service with approximately 940 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Hells Canyon Wilderness is a subset of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA), which straddles the border of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. Split into two distinct halves by the Wild & Scenic Snake River, approximately one-third of HCNRA is designated Wilderness. A small portion of the Wilderness in Oregon is managed by the BLM.
The Idaho side of the Wilderness is smaller than the Oregon side and encompasses the Seven Devils mountain range. The Wilderness stretches south from Pittsburg Landing for approximately 31 miles along the Snake River.
On the Oregon side, the higher elevation areas are characteristic of rocky slopes and grasslands laced with 'stringer canyons' and groves composed of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. The lower elevations are dominated by grassland benches with steep canyons and ravines dissecting the isolated Oregon-side. Two National trails are found at various elevations: Western Rim/Summit Ridge Recreation Trail at the upper elevation, and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail near the Snake River. Species of interest are Rocky Mountain Elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and chukar.
Attractions & Recreation Opportunites
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is located five miles east of Baker City, Oregon, on Highway 86, Exit 302 from Interstate 84, 125 miles northwest of Boise, 95 miles southeast of Pendlelton.
The Vale District manages the Oregon section of the Owyhee River from the Oregon/Idaho state line to the Owyhee Reservoir. The Idaho section of the river (above the state line) is managed through the Idaho BLM.
To better visualize the extent of our District and the public lands we manage, look at this detailed map that shows major public lands, major roads and the boundary of both our District and Resource Areas.