Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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BLM Oregon & Washington Reopens 2018 Nominations to Resource Advisory Councils - 10/03/18

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Oregon and Washington today announced that it is reopening the public call for nominations for open positions on five of its citizen-based advisory councils.

Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) provide advice and recommendations for the BLM to consider on a range of resource and land management issues. The BLM maintains 38 such chartered advisory committees located in the West. Each council consists of 10 to 15 members from diverse interests in local communities, and they assist in the development of committee recommendations that address public land management issues. RACs are critical in assisting the BLM in continuing to be a good neighbor in communities served by the Bureau.

"The BLM Resource Advisory Councils are an important forum for the community conversation that is a key component of public land management," said BLM State Director Jamie E. Connell.  "By ensuring that RAC representation reflects a variety of perspectives, RAC members provide a valuable service to the BLM by delving into issues and proposing solutions on a wide variety of land and resource uses issues."

An individual may self-nominate or nominate others to serve on a Council. Nominees must be residents of the state or states where the RAC has jurisdiction and will be reviewed on the basis of their training, education, and knowledge of the Council’s geographic area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. A letter of reference must accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations per the categories below, also a completed RAC application, and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.

The open positions are in the following categories:

Category one – Public land ranchers and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the commercial timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use, and commercial recreation.

Category two – Representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities, and wild horse and burro organizations.

Category three – Representatives of state, county, or local elected office; representatives and employees of a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized, Alaska Natives as appropriate to the state of Alaska; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.

A term on a RAC is for three years.  Following are the vacancies for each of the RACs.  Additional positions may also become open. Please send questions and nominations by Oct. 31, 2018, to the contact(s) listed below.

Eastern Washington RAC

  • Open positions include two positions in category one.
  • Contact: Jeff Clark, BLM Spokane District Office, 1103 North Fancher Road, Spokane, WA 99212, 509-536-1297.

John Day-Snake RAC

  • Open positions include two positions in category two.
  • Contact: Lisa Clark, BLM Prineville District Office, 3050 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754, 541-416-6864.

Northwest Oregon RAC

  • Open positions include one position in each of categories one, two and three.
  • Contact: Jennifer Velez, BLM Northwest Oregon District Office, 1717 Fabry Road SE, Salem, OR 97306, 541-222-9241.

Southeast Oregon RAC

  • Open positions include one position in category one.
  • Contact: Larisa Bogardus, BLM Lakeview District Office, 1301 S. G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630, 541-947-6237.

Steens Mountain Advisory Council

  • Open positions include:
    • One Statewide Interest Representative with No Financial Interest in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area (CMPA);
    • One Local Environmental Representative;
    • One Statewide Environmental Representative;
    • One Mechanized or Consumptive Recreation Representative;
    • One Private Landowner in the Steens Mountain CMPA
  • Contact: Tara Thissell, BLM Burns District Office, 28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, OR  97738, 541-573-4519.

More information about RACs in Oregon and Washington, including a RAC boundary map, can be found online at https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/oregon-washington .

As published in a notice in the Oct. 1, 2018, Federal Register, the BLM will consider nominations for 30 days, until Oct. 31, 2018. 

For more information, please contact the coordinator listed above or Greg Shine, the RAC membership coordinator for BLM Oregon and Washington, at 503-808-6303.

BLM announces annual adjustment to its mineral fee cost-recovery schedule - 09/28/18

WASHINGTON – Effective Oct. 1, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management will begin using an updated fee schedule to recover costs incurred in processing certain actions related to oil, gas, coal, and solid minerals activities on public land.  The fee schedule is adjusted regularly based on inflation and follows procedures established under the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule.  The updated schedule appears in today’s Federal Register and will be posted to the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov.

The fees cover the BLM’s costs for processing such actions as lease applications, name changes, corporate mergers, lease consolidations, and reinstatements.  Under this update, 17 of the 48 fees subject to annual adjustment will remain unchanged, while 31 will increase.

Of the 31 fees that are increasing, 18 will increase by $5 each and eight will increase by $10 each.  The fee for adjudicating 10 or fewer mineral patent claims will increase by $50 (from $1,555 to $1,605), and the fee for adjudicating more than 10 claims will increase by $105 (from $3,110 to $3,215).

The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule.  The Office of Management and Budget has also directed federal agencies to recover costs for their services.  The 2005 Cost Recovery Rule expressly projected that the BLM would annually adjust the fee schedule to account for inflation.  The BLM updates the fee schedule each year based on changes in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product (IPD-GDP), as determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Minerals Management: Adjustment of Cost Recovery Fees 
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-09-28/pdf/2018-21298.pdf

-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. 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. 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.

Vale BLM Lifts Fire Restrictions - 09/26/18

Vale, Ore. -- On October 1, the Vale District Bureau of Land Management will be lifting fire restrictions on all Vale BLM-administered lands, including Bureau of Reclamation lands. Fireworks, exploding targets, and incendiary and tracer ammunition are still prohibited on public lands. With cooler temperature trends, daytime burn periods becoming shorter, and the overall fire danger decreasing, the risk has diminished enough to lift these restrictions.

While the National Weather Service is forecasting moisture across eastern Oregon on Sunday or Monday, after an entire summer of drying, the dry grass and brush remain susceptible to sparks or embers from campfires, burn piles, and exhaust systems.

"We are monitoring the weather and fire conditions closely and ask that everyone do the same. We all have a responsibility in understanding the risks and reducing the potential for wildfire,” said Vale District Manager Don Gonzalez.  “With hunting season upon us, the threat from human-caused ignitions is higher with more people headed outdoors. As public land users, it is important that we remain vigilant. We encourage everyone to practice safe shooting techniques, keep motorized vehicles on roads and trails and off dry grass, ensure trailers are not dragging chains, and keep vehicles operating properly. Before you go, know the weather forecast and any regulations that may apply to the area,” continued Gonzalez.

Additional information is available at:  www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions

-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. 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. 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. 

 

Attached Media Files: BLM Fire Prevention Order
Interior Department Finalizes New Waste Prevention Rule - 09/18/18

WASHINGTON - As part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing goal to reduce the regulatory burden on the American people and foster economic growth and energy development by using innovation, best science, and best practices, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a final rule that revises the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule (also known as the Venting and Flaring Rule).  The new rule, which included a 60-day public comment period, will reduce unnecessary burdens on the private sector and restore proven regulations at a time when investment in Federal onshore oil and gas is skyrocketing.

“Sadly, the flawed 2016 rule was a radical assertion of legal authority that stood in stark contrast to the longstanding understanding of Interior’s own lawyers,” said Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt. “The Trump Administration is committed to innovative regulatory improvement and environmental stewardship, while appropriately respecting the clear and distinct authorities of the States, Tribes, as well as the direction we receive from Congress.”

The BLM reviewed the 2016 rule and found that it had considerable overlap in existing State, Tribal and Federal regulations. Additionally, the agency determined that the previous administration underestimated the cost in the 2016 rule.  

The rule was reviewed as part of Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, and Secretarial Order 3349, American Energy Independence, issued March 29, 2017.  The BLM found that many parts of the 2016 rule were unnecessarily burdensome on the private sector.

Publication of the final rule in the Federal Register is forthcoming. The rule is effective 60 days after publication. A pre-publication version of the final rule can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xP2qE.