Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
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News Releases
Oak Basin Prairies Management Plan Public Meeting, July 14 - 06/22/22

Springfield, Ore. The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to improve and restore habitat within the Oak Basin Prairies Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The proposal would enhance and expand the savannahs, prairies, and woodlands in the Coburg Hills northeast of Eugene, Oregon.

                                                                                                                                 

The BLM designates Areas of Critical Environmental Concern as needing special management attention. This designation allows land managers to protect important natural, cultural, and scenic resources. Oak Basin is part of the Willamette Valley Ecoregion, a large complex of prairies, oak savannas, and oak woodlands. It provides habitat to the endangered Fender’s Blue Butterfly, the threatened Kincaid’s lupine, and other BLM Special Status Species.

 

To inform the public and gather input on the proposal, the BLM project team will hold a second open house on Thursday, July 14. The open house meeting will run from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and there will be a short PowerPoint presentation at 3:30 and 5:30 at Brownsville City Hall, Council Room, 255 N Main St, Brownsville, OR 97327. 

 

Project team members will be available to discuss the proposal, answer questions, and listen to public input.

 

“The first public meeting on June 17 was a great success. We had a terrific discussion with about a dozen of our neighbors. We hope that anyone who missed it will be able to attend our second public meeting in July,” said Todd Bush, Acting BLM Upper Willamette Field Manager. 

 

The BLM’s proposal includes a variety of options for restoring and enhancing this unique landscape. Removing conifers, like pine or fir trees, would expand meadows and reduce competition for oak trees. Controlling non-native and invasive species would help native species thrive. Planting native nectar and host plants would improve habitat for Fender’s blue butterfly.

 

Some of this restoration work, specifically the removal of some conifers, would be accomplished through commercial timber harvest. Parts of the Oak Basin are O&C Lands, which is land that the BLM manages under the Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands Act. The BLM manages O&C Lands for sustained yield timber production. In this project, the removal and sale of timber will have the added benefit of improving the unique habitat of the Oak Basin.

 

Members of the public can submit comments via email at any time during the public scoping period, which runs from June 13 through July 15, 2022. Emails should be sent to blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov with “Oak Basin Prairies ACEC” in the subject line.

 

For more information about the project and how to submit comments, visit https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018529/510

 

Public comments, including identifying information (mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.) may become public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

 

For more information, please email: blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov. 

 

-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. 

Bureau of Land Management habitat improvements at Ridgeline View overlook - 06/16/22

Alsea, Ore. — Later this summer, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will start a habitat improvement project along Marys Peak Road in Benton County. The project will be visible from the roadside overlook at mile 2.5. By removing some vegetation, the project will improve forest habitat by reducing competition between trees, provide logs for nearby stream restoration projects, and restore the view from the roadside overlook.

“Members of the public have asked us to improve the view from this overlook for many years,” said Paul Tigan, Marys Peak Field Manager for the BLM. “Achieving important wildlife and fisheries goals while opening up the view makes this project a real two-for-one effort.”

The project will take place on three acres of forestland designated as late-successional reserve. The BLM designates late-successional reserve areas to develop and preserve forests with complex habitat characteristics. The forest within this three-acre project area does not currently have these characteristics.

By removing smaller trees, the BLM will reduce competition around the largest trees. These remaining trees will be able to grow faster without as much competition. This will accelerate the development of big trees with complex crowns important for wildlife species like the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Mid-sized trees removed from the site will be placed in nearby streams to improve fish habitat. None of the trees being removed will be sold for commercial value (e.g., as a timber sale).

Once the work is complete, visitors to the Marys Peak Road overlook will find a clearer view of the Cascade Mountains to the east, including Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters, and the Coast Range to the west.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents associated with this project can be viewed here: 

  • Wildlife habitat improvements along Marys Peak Road (Northwest Oregon District Special Habitat Conservation): https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/120878/510
  • Fish habitat improvements at Mill Creek and Lower Maxfield Creek (Large Woody Debris Projects): https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018360/510)

Information on the late-successional reserve designation can be found in the 2016 Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/near-you/oregon-washington/rmps-westernoregon 
 

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

FRIDAY JUNE 17: Oak Basin Prairies Management Plan Public Meeting - 06/13/22

Springfield, Ore. The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to improve and restore habitat within the Oak Basin Prairies Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The proposal would enhance and expand the savannahs, prairies, and woodlands in the Coburg Hills, northeast of Eugene.

The BLM designates Areas of Critical Environmental Concern as needing special management attention. This designation allows land managers to protect important natural, cultural, and scenic resources. Oak Basin is part of the Willamette Valley Ecoregion, a large complex of prairies, oak savannas, and oak woodlands. It provides habitat to the endangered Fender’s Blue Butterfly, the threatened Kincaid’s lupine, and other BLM Special Status Species.

The BLM's proposal includes a variety of options for restoring and enhancing this unique landscape. Removing conifers, like pine or fir trees, would expand meadows and reduce competition for oak trees. Controlling non-native and invasive species would help native species thrive. Planting native nectar and host plants would improve habitat for Fender's blue butterfly.

Some of this restoration work, specifically removal of some conifers, would be accomplished through commercial timber harvest. Parts of the Oak Basin are O&C Lands, land that the BLM manages under the Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands Act. The BLM manages O&C Lands for sustained yield timber production. In this project, the removal and sale of timber will have the added benefit of improving the unique habitat of the Oak Basin.

“It’s critical that the public has a voice in how we manage our public lands,” said Todd Bush, Acting Upper Willamette Field Manager for the BLM. “We are excited to hear from our friends, visitors and neighbors.”

To inform the public and gather input on the proposal, the BLM project team will hold an open house, Friday, June 17. The meeting will run from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. and there will be a short PowerPoint presentation at 1:00 and 3:00 at Brownsville City Hall, Community Room, 255 N Main St, Brownsville, OR 97327. 

Project team members will be available to discuss the proposal, answer questions, and listen to public input. There will be no formal presentation; members of the public can attend any part of the event.

Members of the public can also submit comments via email at any time during the public scoping period, which runs from June 13 through July 13, 2022. Emails should be sent to blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov with “Oak Basin Prairies ACEC” in the subject line.

For more information about the project and how to submit comments, visit https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018529/510

Public comments, including identifying information (mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.) may become public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, please email: blm_or_no_oak_basin@blm.gov. 

 

-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. 

Steens Mountain Advisory Council Schedules June 2022 Videoconference - 05/31/22

Hines, Ore. The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the Steens Mountain Advisory Council has scheduled a spring virtual meeting. The public is welcome to attend online through the Zoom for Government platform, Thursday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The meeting will be available at: https://bit.ly/3lRb0QC.

The agenda includes a recreation program update; information sharing from the Designated Federal Official; reviewing alternatives for the Bridge Creek Allotment Management Plans Environmental Impact Statement; and, an opportunity for Subcommittee members to share information from their constituents and present research. Any other matters that may reasonably come before the Subcommittee may also be included.

“The Steens Mountain Advisory Council is a forum for the community to participate in the land management process,” said Jeff Rose, Burns District Manager and Designated Federal Official for the Advisory Council. “If you are interested in public land decisions for Steens Mountain, this is a great opportunity to listen and share with a collaborative group,” continued Rose. 

A public comment period will be available at 1:15 p.m. Unless otherwise approved by the subcommittee chair, the public comment period will last no longer than 30 minutes, and each speaker may address the subcommittee for a maximum of five minutes. 

Sessions may end early if all business items are accomplished ahead of schedule or may be extended if discussions warrant more time. 

For more information, please contact Tara Thissell at (541) 573-4519 or tthissell@blm.gov. Additional information about the Steens Mountain Advisory Council is available online at: https://go.usa.gov/xzkD8.

-BLM–

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.